National Zoo to Live Tweet Giant Panda Artificial Insemination


Mei Xiang and Tian Tian in 2008. | Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Forget watching for celebrity baby bumps. We're much more concerned with whether or not the National Zoo's giant panda Mei Xiang will be expecting in the coming months.

After going into estrus over the weekend, National Zoo scientists and Li Desheng from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong performed an articificial insemination on Mei Xiang. They'll be performing another one tonight and making history by live-tweeting the process (follow the National Zoo on Twitter at @NationalZoo and get additional information by following the hashtag #pandaAI).

[Learn More: Why is the Birth Rate So Low for Giant Pandas?]

After the process, Zoo staff will continue to monitor the giant panda's hormone levels and will perform regular ultrasounds to determine if she is pregnant, the Zoo said in a press release. Tai Shan, born July 9, 2005, was the last offspring from Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, the Zoo's male panda. Tai Shan now lives in China.

Check out video of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian bonding early in their relationship:

Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Discover the Personalities of Tian Tian and Mei Xiang:



See Tai Shan's Debut!


- Jodi Westrick

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