Veterinarians at National Zoo in Washington check out giant panda cub. Friday marked nine weeks since his birth. (Smithsonian Institution/National Zoo photo)

Although he has been described as a miracle baby, the giant panda cub at the National Zoo resembles many less celebrated mammals in important respects, and like them, it appears he will have to crawl before he can walk.

On Friday, the youngster marked the 63rd day, or ninth week since his birth Aug. 21. According to the zoo, keepers have spotted him “practicing his crawling” since before he was eight weeks old. Noting what they described as improving coordination, keepers said they expect his first giant panda steps to come in another month or so.

But at a time of intense national interest about inoculations, it may be worth noting that on Wednesday, according to the zoo, the cub received his first dose of vaccine.

A zoo veterinarian gave a shot of canine distemper vaccine, the zoo said. It could not be said that the cub accepted it with passivity and stoicism.

“The cub jumped at the initial prick of the needle,” the zoo reported. But, the zoo said, it did not appear to produce lasting after effects, and he “settled down quickly.”