ANIMALS

Mei Xiang pregnant? Panda shows more signs of possible cub

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Mei Xiang is showing further signs that she may be pregnant, though zookeepers at the Smithsonian National Zoo say that the behaviors she's showing are consistent with both past pregnancies and pseudopregnancies.

Mei Xiang has been busy building a nest in her habitat. Photo: National Zoo

Zookeepers say that Mei has simultaneously become less interested in interacting with humans and going outside. At the same time, she has been busily preparing a nest in lieu of those activities.

Officials say that Mei Xiang, who gave birth to a panda cub last Sept. 17, has been exhibiting other behaviors that they've seen in the past, including a decrease in appetite. That doesn't necessarily show one way or another if she's pregnant or not, though.

The birth of last year's baby panda was celebrated widely in Washington and throughout the animal world after a series of false pregnancies, including one in 2011. However, the joy turned to heartbreak days later, when the cub died less than a week after it was born.

A necropsy showed that the baby panda had several abnormalities that it could not survive.

You can keep an eye on Mei Xiang through the National Zoo's panda cam.

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