National Zoo's Giant Panda Gives Birth


Photo: Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian's National Zoo

WASHINGTON, Sept 17, 2012 (AFP) - A giant panda lent to the United States by China and living at the National Zoo in the US capital has given birth to a cub, zoo officials said Monday.
The birth occurred at about 10:46 pm local time Sunday (0246 GMT Monday), according to the zoo's chief veterinarian, Suzan Murray.

[Want More Pandas? Watch these Amazing Panda Videos!]
Mei Xiang, as the mom panda is called, "is cradling her cub closely, and she looks so tired," Murray said in a statement.
"But every time she tries to lay down, the cub squawks, and she sits right up and cradles the cub more closely," Murray added. "She is the poster child for a perfect panda mom."

[See Video of the Zoo's Last Baby Panda, Tai Shan!]
Zoo officials said they believed there was only one cub, but they would know for sure later in the day if the cub was to have a twin.
They said their goal was for Mei Xiang to raise this cub naturally.
In the meantime, the cub and its mom are being monitored by webcam.

Stay Tuned: More panda updates from Discovery here!

Animal Planet Note: While we don't have photos or video of the new baby panda quite yet, we can offer this adorable video of baby Tai Shan [aka: Butterstick], the last baby panda born at the National Zoo:

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