Congratulations to Mei Xiang and all the excited Panda-keepers at the National Zoo, late last night the Zoo celebrated the birth of a new giant panda cub at 10:46pm. The city has been on Panda Watch for a while now, though panda pregnancy is a more of a crapshoot than science. The news, as it stands, from the Zoo is as follows:
As far as we can tell, the cub was born at about 10:46 p.m. on September 16. According to chief veterinarian Suzan Murray:
“Mei Xiang is behaving exactly the same way she did when Tai Shan was born. She is cradling her cub closely , and she looks so tired, but every time she tries to lay down, the cub squawks and she sits right up and cradles the cub more closely. She is the poster child for a perfect panda mom.”
We believe there is only one cub. If the cub is to have a twin, we should know by sunrise.
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. With Tai Shan, it wasn’t until he was about two weeks old that Mei walked away from him briefly and our veterinary team was able to give him a brief well-cub exam.
Funny names for the little guy or girl are totally welcome in the comments. I was leaning toward Parkay Tub.