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Giant Panda Gives Birth at Smithsonian Zoological Park

Giant Panda at National Zoo
Alex Wong/Getty Images

They are black and white, fuzzy and fun to watch. And with all of the unwanted attention given to this last weekend’s VMA’s, this is a breath of fresh air. 

Mei Xiang one of the pandas housed at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington DC gave birth 3 days ago.  She birthed two cubs, unfortunately one did not survive. The remaining cub weighed in at almost 5 ounces.

Team members from the zoo this morning attempted to get the cub for a second veterinary exam. Mei Xiang was more alert and more aware of the keepers’ presence today. Sunday, one day after she birthed, she seemed focused on the cub to the exclusion of everything else around her.

Photo by Courtney Janney, NZP

Today she assumed a very protective mode (I assume any animal mother would.) She positioned her body and her cub so that panda keepers couldn’t reach the cub. When they attempted to distract her and retrieve the cub, she persistently moved out of reach. It’s clear that she was holding tight to the cub and did not want to give it up.

Zoo personnel backed off the attempt to get the cub for it’s second exam, as they did not want to upset Mei Xiang. The panda team continues to monitor Mei and the cub constantly and you can watch the Panda Cam here. Regular exams help us ensure the cub’s continued health and growth.

Wishing the best for the new panda cub and anxious to see how it will be named.

[National Zoo]


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