Mei Xiang and her new cub appear to be "very healthy," Laurie Thompson, assistant curator of giant pandas with the Smithsonian's National Zoo here, told Xinhua on Saturday.
"I would say it appears that they're healthy," said Thompson, who was staying up all night with her colleagues monitoring Mei Xiang and the cub. "The cub was constantly vocalizing throughout the night. Short periods of breast, but not very long. And that's kind of what we want to see."
Mei Xiang, 22, gave birth to the cub on Friday evening after more than three hours of labor, the seventh since she and male giant panda Tian Tian began living in the zoo in 2000. Three of her cubs have survived to adulthood.
As an experienced and healthy mother, Mei Xiang was taking care of her new cub "all night long," said Thompson, adding that the giant panda team has not been able to get hands on it because they want to wait until Mei Xiang is ready to leave the cub, which usually takes place "within a week or so."
"She will go to eat, leave the den to eat, and then we can go in and retrieve the cub to do a cub exam," the curator explained.