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National Zoo’s Giant Panda Gives Birth To A Cub

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This morning, staff at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo got their first look at the giant panda cub during a 9-minute veterinary exam. They determined the cub is a male. It is often difficult to accurately determine the sex of a giant panda cub at this early stage—nearly a month old—because the genitalia are still underdeveloped. The cub is 12 inches long and weighs 825.7 grams, or 1.82 pounds.


According to National Zoo Associate Veterinarian Sharon Deem, the cub’s heart and respiratory rates indicate a healthy cub. Lisa Stevens, assistant curator at the Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat and Zoo Keeper Laurie Perry, along with Dr. Deem conducted the brief exam when Mei Xiang left the den for a bamboo snack.


Mei Xiang was successfully reunited with her cub immediately after the exam. Mei Xiang gave birth to this cub on July 9, after a successful artificial insemination by Zoo scientists. The outdoor portion of the Zoo’s Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat is open to the public. Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN), the Zoo’s male giant panda and father of the cub, has access to the outdoor exhibit. The indoor exhibit will remain closed to the public.


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