Gorillas are predominantly herbivores.
|Yun Zi at 51 days old|
|(cc) Ellen Meiselman|
Showing off his personality and independence, the San Diego Zoo's panda cub pushed up on his legs and walked across the examination table during his 11th veterinary exam. The male cub, who turned 99-days old on November 12, 2009, made it a bit difficult for vets to take his measurements.
"He's definitely starting to show his personality; in fact, at one point he even barked at us." said Beth Bicknese, D.V.M, a senior veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo. "He's getting more strong and wiggly, and it does make getting precise measurements on his body a little more challenging."
The black-and-white bear weighed 12.5 pounds with a length of two feet from head to tail. The vets also estimate that his tail, with its unique black spot at the tip, measured 3.5 inches.
The cub also marked a milestone by cutting his first two teeth - the lower canines - near the front of his mouth. His teeth have been pushing at the gums for the last few exams, and the animal care staff expects more teeth to break through very quickly.
"Now its going to be a race to see if his incisors in the front come out next or if its going to be his molars in the back because they're both really close to popping out," said Bicknese.
Animal care staff, veterinarians and the public will now be able to refer to the cub by name, rather than pronouns and nicknames, like Fuzzball. The panda's official name was announced at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, during a public ceremony at the San Diego Zoo's Hunte Amphitheatre. The San Diego Zoo received 6,331 suggestions for names at the Zoo and the Zoo's Web site. Of those, the Zoo's giant panda team chose five. In the past week, visitors to the Web site, www.SanDiegoZoo.org, narrowed the choices to one, Yun Zi.
The cub is the fifth giant panda born at the San Diego Zoo. The first surviving giant panda born in the United States was born in San Diego in 1999, followed by cubs in 2003, 2005, 2007, and most recently this cub that was born on Aug. 5, 2009.
Giant pandas are on loan to the San Diego Zoo from the People's Republic of China to study this endangered species. As part of this long-term program, the San Diego Zoo is collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Science in studies of behavior, ecology, genetics and conservation of wild pandas living in the Foping Nature Reserve.
The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats. The organization focuses on conservation and research work around the globe, educates millions of individuals a year about wildlife and maintains accredited horticultural, animal, library and photo collections. The Zoo also manages the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, which includes a 900-acre native species reserve, and the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.