Mei Xiang's panda cub nursing well, has strong lungs

Mei Xiang's panda cub cries on the floor of their den early Thursday. Photo: National Zoo

Mei Xiang's new panda cub at the National Zoo has a strong set of lungs and is nursing well, zoo officials say.{ }

Vigilant panda cam observers caught Mei placing her new cub on the floor of her den around 3:30 a.m. Thursday. The cub, born Aug. 23,{ }began squawking until Mei carefully picked it up and cradled it.{ }

Watch Mei Xiang and her cub on the Giant Panda Cam.

The cub has a round belly, which lets the panda team know that it is nursing well. Its loud crying indicates the cub has a great set of lungs.{ }

Zoo officials say Mei is much more aware of the keepers when they enter her den to offer her food. She drank 56 oz. Wednesday, which is a good sign that the new mother is doing well.

Video: National Zoo