Tags: US | China | animals | panda

Panda Cub Born at Washington's National Zoo

Image: Panda Cub Born at Washington's National Zoo

Saturday, 22 Aug 2015 06:21 PM

A rare giant panda called Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington on Saturday, officials said.

"Panda cub born at 5:34pm live on panda cam," the National Zoo announced on Twitter.

The zoo had 24 minutes earlier posted a short video of Mei Xiang's waters breaking in her small birthing enclosure.

A live video stream from the straw-lined cage appeared to have crashed, likely due to a high volume of viewers, the zoo said.

The new mother was artificially inseminated in April with frozen semen from a male giant panda named Hui Hui that resides at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan province.

She was also inseminated with fresh semen from the zoo's male giant panda Tian Tian. DNA tests will establish which is the father.

Mei Xiang exhibited signs of pregnancy in July that included sleeping more, eating less, building a nest and spending more time in her den.

Besides Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, the National Zoo is home to their female cub Bao Bao, who turns two on Sunday. Her brother Tai Shan, born in 2005, is in China.

On Tuesday, Malaysia announced that a giant panda at its National Zoo, Liang Liang, had given birth. The newborn's sex has yet to be determined.

There are fewer than 2,000 pandas now left in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund, as their habitats have been ravaged by development.

Roads and railways cut through the bamboo forests they depend upon in China's Yangtze Basin, their primary habitat.

Pandas rely on bamboo and eat almost nothing else. Given their low birthrate, captive breeding programs are key to ensuring their survival.

 

© AFP 2017

 
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A rare giant panda called Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington on Saturday, officials said. Panda cub born at 5:34pm live on panda cam, the National Zoo announced on Twitter.The zoo had 24 minutes earlier posted a short video of Mei...
US, China, animals, panda
285
2015-21-22
Saturday, 22 Aug 2015 06:21 PM
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