National Zoo's Mei Xiang gives birth, one cub stillborn
It's the third day of panda-mania at the National Zoo.
On Friday, Giant Panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a new panda cub. Sunday, zoo keepers had more good news.
"We were able to make a successful cub grab by our great panda team this morning," said Dr. Don Moore, Associate Director of Animal Care Services. "The first born cub seems to be very very healthy. We're very joyful for that."
There was some sadness in the air, however. On Saturday evening, the Giant Panda gave birth to a stillborn cub.
"It was malformed. Most of the malformations were limited to the head region," explained Dr. Suzan Murray, Chief Veterinarian at the National Zoo. The stillbirth occurred 26 hours after the first panda was born. According to Murray, the second cub was never alive and was missing part of it's skull.
Even with the death, the animal caretakers remained in high spirits about the first born cub.
"I have nothing but joy that we have one cub that is healthy and doing well," said Dr. Brandie Smith, Supervisory Biologist. "I am full of joy and happiness this morning, especially since we have gotten hands on that cub."
The newborn weighed in at just under 5 ounces. They will not know the gender of the cub for 2-3 more weeks.