Washington DC Panda Gives Birth To Live Cub, Stillborn

Giant panda Mei Xiang of Washington DC’s National Zoo gave birth to twin cubs on Friday and Saturday. It was her third and fourth births, all of them in DC. Sadly, the latter was a stillborn:

That cub was the second of Mei Xiang’s to die; last year, one of her cubs died after six days. In 2005, however, she gave birth to a healthy male named Tai Shan.

How’s the new cub — all 137 grams of him/her — doing? Hard to tell. Reports Washington Post:

An early exam at the zoo is a change from last year, and staff members made several other changes in preparation for another cub. Mei Xiang’s den was altered to allow keepers to get closer to her, and the zoo invited a panda expert from China who specializes in newborns to help out. Two of the zoo’s panda keepers also recently spent time in China learning more about examining newborns.

Zookeepers made two attempts at examining the cub Saturday, but Mei Xiang was cradling the cub and officials were unable to take it for a closer examination, zoo spokeswoman Baker-Masson said. They planned to try again Sunday.

But everyone will be watching closely, as you can as well via cub cam.

Naturally, the zoo is excited, as it’s been tweeting furiously about the cub over the weekend:

At 5:32 pm local time…

At 5:58 pm local time, the first picture!

And… aw…

We also learn that it takes two to three weeks to determine the sex and paternity of baby pandas:

There’s a 30-second video, too, which you can watch above. It’s a nice moment. Miracle of life and all that.

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