National Zoo: 2-Week-Old Panda Cub is Female

SEPTEMBER 4

This morning, Mei Xiang was very alert when the panda keepers walked into her den and looked eager for her morning drink. She drank 64 ounces of water right away. She did turn down all offers of food (a frozen bamboo shoot and sugar cane). She seems to be enjoying her “den service!”

National Zoo Panda Updates

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Smithsonian's National Zoo says its 2-week-old giant panda cub is female.

The Washington zoo also revealed Thursday that the cub's father is National Zoo panda Tian Tian.

Panda mother Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated with sperm from Tian Tian, as well as a panda named Gao Gao at the San Diego Zoo. It takes time to determine a cub's gender, and a DNA sample was collected to determine the cub's paternity.

The surviving panda cub has been described as healthy and active. Zookeepers conducted a 10-minute physical examination days after it was born. Veterinarians said the cub had a steady heartbeat and appeared to be digesting its food.

Officials are also expected to release more details about a second stillborn cub.


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