Mei Xiang takes panda cub outside for the first time

Mei Xiang took her cub outside her den for the first time on Nov. 3. Photo: Smithsonian's National Zoo

(WJLA) - Mei Xiang's panda cub has gone exploring for the first - albeit short - time.

For the first time since being born on Aug. 23, the now 8.14-pound cub was taken outside of her den by Mei Xiang. The first outside excursion, which happened on Nov. 3, lasted for about 30 seconds.

Since then, zoo officials say that Mei and her yet-to-be-named cub have made several other brief trips outside.

Zookeepers are now getting the young cub accustomed to various noises and presences in preparations for her public debut. A date for that has not yet been set.

In the meantime, panda lovers can continue to vote for the cub's name through Nov. 22. Voters can pick rom five possible names: Bao Bao, Ling Hua, Long Yun, Mulan and Zhen Bao. Each name has a special Chinese meaning.