Giant panda at DC’s National Zoo gives birth
August 23, 2013 4:58PM
FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2012, file photo Mei Xiang, a giant female panda, rests at the National Zoo in Washington. Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub at the Smithsonians National Zoo 5:32 p.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. Zoo keepers heard the cub vocalize and glimpsed the cub for the first time briefly immediately after the birth. Mei Xiang picked the cub up immediately and began cradling and caring for it.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Updated: August 23, 2013 5:55PM
WASHINGTON (AP) — A giant panda at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington has given birth to her third cub.
The zoo said Mei Xiang gave birth at 5:32 p.m. Friday, two hours after her water broke. Zoo officials said the panda team heard the cub vocalize and said Mei Xiang picked the cub up immediately and began cradling and caring for it. The cub’s gender wasn’t immediately known.
The zoo tweeted, “WE HAVE A CUB!!”
The zoo has been on round-the-clock panda watch since Aug. 7, when Mei Xiang began showing behavioral changes.
A Chinese panda expert performed artificial inseminations on Mei Xiang on March 30 after she failed to breed naturally with male panda Tian Tian.
Mei Xiang had previously given birth to two cubs. Tai Shan was born in 2005 and a week-old cub died last September.