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Panda on Preggers Watch

Photo courtesy of
‘Panda sign’
courtesy of ‘brianmka’

Starting at 4pm, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s female giant panda, Mei Xiang (may-SHONG), will be a 24-hour pregnancy watch.  FONZ volunteers and animal care staff will closely monitor the panda for maternal behaviors (nest building and cradling of small objects) through keeper interactions and a series of 38 cameras set up throughout the giant panda habitat.

You can check on Mei Xiang through the National Zoo’s pandacam and view a birth should it occur. FYI: Because of increased traffic levels, pandacam visits will be limited to five minutes per session. You can refresh the page to continue viewing, unless there’s just way too much site traffic.

Zoo scientists instated the 24 hour watch as tests of Mei Xiang’s hormone levels approached baseline and indicated that the end of either her pseudo or real pregnancy is near.  If the pregnancy was legit, we should see a new cub within 24 hours.

The Daily Feed, WTF?!

Tian Tian and Mei Xiang Try Again

Photo courtesy of
‘*Caution* Do Not Attempt To Enter The Tian Tian Man Cave *Teddy Bear Sleeping*’
courtesy of ‘Daniel.Techie{TaiShan~4Ever} @ 127.0.0.1′

This was the big weekend for Tian Tian and Mei Xiang to try for another Butterstick (okay, nothing could replace our Tai Shan, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want another baby panda to coo and gush over) and that meant there was a lot of panda sex this weekend. According to the Zoo, though, all that hot and heavy action wasn’t for much (“competent mating did not occur” – which is kinda the story of Youth in Revolt), and they had to tranq both animals and help them out a little bit.

Mei Xiang and Tian Tian will spend the next 3-6 months in separate enclosures to protect the nascent pregnancy (assuming there is one…) and the mother. Hopefully by summertime, we’ll have a new panda to cuddle. And may I just say, as cute as these animals are, evolution sure is against these guys…just one opportunity to mate per year? It’s worse than having a girlfriend in another state.