An eye-opening moment: Kai Kai and Jia Jia's panda cub opens eyes for the first time

SINGAPORE - The first giant panda cub born in Singapore reached another milestone this week – opening his eyes to see the world for the first time.

He did so at 40 days old on Wednesday (Sept 22), said Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) in a statement on Friday, adding that the panda cub weighed 1.87kg, up 370g from the previous week. 

The cub is the firstborn of giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the famous residents of the River Safari, who arrived in Singapore from China in 2012 under a 10-year loan from the Chinese authorities.

He was born on Aug 14 after seven attempts by his parents to conceive. Kai Kai, 13, and Jia Jia, 12, first mated in 2015, when Jia Jia started her first estrus cycle – the panda equivalent of the human menstrual cycle.

The panda cub will be given a name before his 100th-day milestone on Nov 21. 

A judging panel chaired by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament and deputy chairman of Mandai Park Holdings, will oversee the process.

Submissions for the name closed on Sept 19 and shortlisted names will be released for public voting.

The name should be catchy and easy to remember, with positive meanings and attributes as well as relevance to Singapore’s heritage and culture, WRS said. It must also be significant to the friendship between Singapore and China. 

Details on how members of the public can participate in naming the cub can be found on WRS' website.