The National Zoo’s recent panda cub born in August has been confirmed female by a DNA test.
Mei Xiang is a good panda mother who still spends a lot of time in her den. As the cub gets a bit older she will start to leave more. So zoo staff are still mostly observing the cub, and will do more when they can.
Here are some great moments from the panda cam all put together:
The cub is not much to see at the moment because Panda cubs are the one of the smallest births to occur among mammals. Babies are only about 1/900th the size of their mothers, only marsupials give birth to smaller young. Panda cubs are unable to move on their own and are completely dependent on their mom for warmth, food, and protection.
Mei Xiang has been more protective of the cub in the past few days and has not allowed the vet staff to take the cub from her for an exam. Keepers say the baby sounds healthy and they are continually observing the pair on the panda cams.
The Smithsonian National Zoo announced earlier today that their female panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub at 5:32 pm!
You can watch the Panda cam on the national zoo’s website here.
(photo of Mei Xiang: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Behavior watchers were observing her 24 hours a day via their panda cams since August 7 as she began to exhibit more and more signs that she would be giving birth. The cub will receive a preliminary exam in the next 48 hours, and continue to receive regular health checks. This is the panda’s third cub, her first cub survived and now lives in china while her second cub died of liver failure.
You can read more about all that goes into testing for panda pregnancy, how she got that way, and the video of her giving birth at the panda blog.
The giant panda cams at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo went down for maintenance but are now back in full HD, with uninterrupted video! You can currently watch on their website at AnimalCams on your computer, tablet, or phone.
The female panda Mei Xiang might be pregnant, but since cubs are born so small it is impossible to tell on ultrasound until the final weeks of gestation – you can follow cub updates on twitter at #CubWatch.
You can see the video of Mei’s latest ultrasound, which she voluntarily participates in when she wants (she gets treats for it of course). Even though it is too early to see if she is having a cub the training involved in making such a medical procedure happen is quite interesting:
Again, you can watch all the adorable panda action on the Smithsonian’s website at AnimalCams.