WASHINGTON DC (WDVM) — It’s a Boy! The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s 6-week-old giant panda cub is a male.
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) confirmed the news Monday morning.
According to a news release, a painting was created by male giant panda Tian Tian, the cub’s father, to reveal the sex of the cub to giant panda keepers and fans online.
Zoo veterinarians used a swab from his cheek for DNA analysis. Male and female cubs look similar when they are born which is why they use a genetic test.
The cub’s mother, Mei Xiang, is the oldest giant panda in the United States and the second oldest documented in the world to give birth. She is 22 years old.
This is the first time a zoo in the United States has experienced a successful pregnancy and birth via artificial insemination using only frozen semen.
Zoo veterinarians say that the cub seems to be healthy and strong. He weighed 3.6 pounds and measured 14 inches from nose to tail tip, during an Oct. 1 exam.