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Remember that Tiny Little Panda that Looked Like a Rat? (Just Look at Her Now)

The unnamed cub of Mei Xiang is up to 5 pounds and has begun to open her eyes.

The baby panda now looks like a baby panda. (Photo courtesy National Zoo.)
The baby panda now looks like a baby panda. (Photo courtesy National Zoo.)
By Todd Richissin 

Among the casualties of the government shutdown were the live animal cams that beamed shots of the not-in-the-wild wildlife from the National Zoo to desktops all over the world.

The cameras went dark but are back up again, and, the most popular little animal of them all has gone through some big changes since she last appeared in public view.

The panda cam last showed the cub belonging to Mei Xiang as just a tiny little thing. Now, while far from the size of her mother, the cub looks nothing like a rat and more like something resembling a panda.

She's now grown to 5 pounds, the zoo reports, and is furry and seems happy enough and is able to scoot around on her own, though it'll take another three months or so to master the art of actually walking.

One problem with seeing her: When the cameras went back on, so many people were trying to get a glimpse that they were turned away, The Washington Post reports.

And while most of the government was back in operation Thursday, the National Zoo remained closed an additional day to get its house in order.
People can get a live peek this weekend, though. The zoo opens Friday at 10 a.m.
Cindy Halpern October 20, 2013 at 05:14 PM
I love seeing pandas. I have traveled to both San Diego and Atlanta to visit them. At first, my boyfriend conplained about being dragged along, but you better believe how fast he fell in love with them and had me take pictures of them at every angle!
andrea October 20, 2013 at 10:36 PM
I love them too! Just seeing them makes the world a cheerier place. Hard to fathom that such large an animal can have that teeny an offspring! Those cubbies are curious, mischievous, comical just like human kids and make their Mama's play with them ALOT! Definitely fun to watch!

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