Panda update: Mom, baby doing well

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Local,DC

The news out of the National Zoo has been good on Tuesday as giant panda Mei Xiang and her newborn cub both appear to be doing well.

Mei Xiang was seen picking up the newborn in her mouth and readjusting its position, behavior that zoo keepers say is quite normal for pandas in order for them to nurse and groom their cubs. Zookeepers have noted that Mei Xiang exhibits "excellent maternal behaviors. "

Those watching the Panda Cam have heard and seen glimpses of the cub responding by squirming around and crying loudly and there is evidence that it is successfully nursing since its birth late Sunday night.

(View a photo gallery of mother Mei Xiang and Tai Shan, the last giant panda cub born at the zoo)

But there's still cause for concern. With the cub being just around the size of a stick of butter, there is some danger that the giant mother of the panda could accidently crush the cub. The zoo's first panda couple, Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling had five cubs during their time at the National Zoo, but none of them survived more than a week.

Zookeepers will continue to monitor the Panda Cam and minimize disturbance to the den where the mother and cub live. Mei Xiang had one previous cub, a male named Tai Shan, in 2005. He is now living in a breeding facility in China.

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