National Zoo keeping watch for panda pregnancy

Jul 26, 2013

(AP)—Scientists at the Smithsonian's National Zoo say the female giant panda's hormones are rising, which indicates she may be pregnant or experiencing a false pregnancy.

Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) was artificially inseminated twice on March 30 after failing to breed naturally with male panda Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN). A Chinese panda expert performed the inseminations with scientists.

The zoo says its panda team is monitoring Mei Xiang closely and conducting ultrasounds to look for a possible fetus. The pregnancy or so-called "pseudopregnancy" should end in 40 to 55 days.

Recently, Mei Xiang has begun nest building. The zoo says that's consistent with her rising hormones.

Mei Xiang has given birth to two cubs. A week-old female cub died last September. Her surviving cub Tai Shan was born in 2005.

Explore further: Purring tempo, sliding notes grab cats' attention

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US zoo cites liver disease in baby panda's death

Oct 11, 2012

Veterinary pathologists on Thursday blamed liver disease brought on by insufficient oxygen for the sudden death of a six-day-old baby panda born at the National Zoo in Washington last month.

Pandas mate with help at the National Zoo

Mar 24, 2008

U.S. veterinarians have artificially inseminated Mei Xiang, a female giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, after natural mating was unsuccessful.

Recommended for you

A molecular compass for bird navigation

Feb 27, 2015

Each year, the Arctic Tern travels over 40,000 miles, migrating nearly from pole to pole and back again. Other birds make similar (though shorter) journeys in search of warmer climes. How do these birds manage ...

100,000 bird samples online

Feb 27, 2015

The Natural History Museum (NHM) in Oslo has a bird collection of international size. It is now available online.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.