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Wednesday 19.09.2018 | Name days: Verners, Muntis

Giant panda at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo gives birth

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14-year-old Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, gave birth Sunday night. It was her second successful pregnancy with 15-year-old Tian Tian, the zoo’s male giant panda, in seven years.

“We are thrilled that Mei Xiang had a successful pregnancy since 2005,” said Dennis Kelly, the zoo’s director. “I’m cautiously optimistic as we haven’t seen the cub yet, but we know that Mei is a good mother.”

Kelly isn’t the only one watching the “panda cam” that monitors the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. So many people are trying to get a glimpse of the new cub that the streaming video online is getting jammed, CNN reported.

People’s excitement to see the new cub comes partly because there aren’t that many pandas to see. The giant panda is one of the most endangered species in the world. There are estimated to be only 1,900 still in existence.

One reason for the small number of pandas is their low success rate when it comes to mating. Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated, and she went through the procedure several times before finally getting pregnant. The chances of Mei Xiang conceiving a cub after five consecutive pseudopregnancies since 2007 was estimated to be less than 10%.

Ref.110.110.110.2012


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