Monday, September 17, 2012

Giant Panda Gives Birth At National Zoo

Mei Xiang, the Smithsonian National Zoo’s female giant panda gave birth to a cub Sunday, September 16 at 10:46 pm.  Keepers began to prepare for a birth after they observed Mei Xiang spending extended periods of time body licking and cradling toys. Veterinarians will perform the first physical exam after Mei Xiang and the cub have had time to bond in a few weeks.

(video: Giant Panda - Live Web Cam at Zoo)

National Zoo, in Washington D.C. says staff can hear the cub but have not yet seen it as Mei has built a substantial nest in her den. They say, "For now, the only way animal care staff will monitor the cub is using the web cams. Our goal is for Mei Xiang to raise this cub naturally."

This is Mei Xiang and Tian Tian’s second cub born as the result of artificial insemination. The chances of Mei Xiang conceiving a cub after five consecutive pseudopregnancies since 2007 was estimated to be less than 10 percent. 

The female panda has been spending almost all her time in her den so keepers and volunteers have monitored her 24 hours-a-day via the panda cams from inside the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. 

The new mother will most likely not come out of her den, eat, or drink, for at least a week.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Poor baby - I saw on tv it died at one week of age . The zoo did not have it s fancy video surveillance on either ! They just heard the noises from mama .