Japan panda fans get latest fix of cute with new footage from Tokyo's Ueno Zoo

This photo taken on July 1, 2017 and released on July 4 by the Tokyo Zoological Park Society shows the 19-day-old female panda cub of giant panda Shin Shin at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo.
This photo taken on July 1, 2017 and released on July 4 by the Tokyo Zoological Park Society shows the 19-day-old female panda cub of giant panda Shin Shin at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo.PHOTO: AFP
This handout from the Tokyo Zoological Park Society taken on June 26, 2017 shows the female cub of giant panda Shin Shin at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo.
This handout from the Tokyo Zoological Park Society taken on June 26, 2017 shows the female cub of giant panda Shin Shin at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo.PHOTO: AFP
This handout from the Tokyo Zoological Park Society taken on June 22, 2017 and released on June 23 shows the female cub of giant panda Shin Shin at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo.
This handout from the Tokyo Zoological Park Society taken on June 22, 2017 and released on June 23 shows the female cub of giant panda Shin Shin at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's panda-obsessed public got their latest fix of cute on Tuesday (July 4) as a Tokyo zoo released footage of its 20-day-old helpless cub, who has ballooned in size since its birth last month.

The tiny panda, still without a name, was the first to be born at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo in five years to the delight of animal lovers and local businesses, sparking "panda fever" in the capital.

Distinctively pink and hairless, the animals typically weigh around 100g at birth - small enough to fit in the palm of a human hand.

It can be difficult to determine their sex but the zoo confirmed last month that the newborn was a girl based on pictures sent to a research centre in the shy animal's native China.

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At two days old, she weighed just 147g and measured 14.3cm in length, but zoo officials have since said she is growing well.

Footage shows the cub resting comfortably on a blanket on Sunday (July 2) as caretakers conducted a regular health check, with the cub now weighing in at 607.9g and measuring 23.4cm.

The tiny baby also looks increasingly more panda-like, with the trademark black colour around her eyes, ears and feet becoming clearer.

Her eyes remain closed as it usually takes about 40 days before panda cubs start seeing things, the zoo said.

In another shot, mum Shin Shin, who just turned 12 on Monday (July 3), is seen tenderly holding the baby in her right arm.

Considered an endangered species, it is estimated that fewer than 2,000 giant pandas remain in the wild, in three provinces in south-central China.

Shin Shin, who mated with male Ri Ri in February, had given birth to another cub in 2012 - the first time at the zoo in 24 years - but the baby died from pneumonia just six days later.