Photo: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo
In case you missed out on your civic duty yesterday, it's not too late to cast a very, very important vote - help name the Smithsonian National Zoo's panda cub!
On August 23, 2013, giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. And, in Chinese tradition, a new baby is officially given a name on the 100th day of life.
Photo: Screenshot of the National Zoo's website
We miss keeping up with Mei Xiang and her new cub at the National Zoo, and hope to see them online again soon. But while we wait, we present 5 ways to pass the time as illustrated by the adorable pandas of Bifengxia Panda Base (the stars of the latest cam from Animal Planet L!VE and explore.org!).
UPDATE at 11AM on September 5: The most popular cub in America is a GIRL! The Smithsonian's National Zoo announced Mei Xiang's newest cub is a female and that her father is none other than Tian Tian, the zoo's resident male panda.
Due to Tian Tian's ineffective "natural technique," Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated with sperm from Tian Tian and Gao Gao, a male panda from San Diego Zoo, according to the Washington Post. Mei Xiang had fraternal twins last month, one of which was stillborn. The stillborn was also a girl.
Check out new video of mother and daughter cuddling. Aww!
Photo: YouTube screen capture SEE MORE PANDA PHOTOS >>
Get ready for one of the sweetest moments you've ever seen! Baby Panda Yuan Zai was born a month ago to parents Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan at the Taipei Zoo.
The newborn baby girl has been in an incubator while zookeepers have been evaluating Mom's nursing abilities with a stuffed panda baby doll (OMG!). Giant panda babies are very susceptible to diseases as well as smothering — literally, physically — by their significantly bigger mamas.
Watch the tearful reunion:
Cries of joy! More sweet moments here:
EXCLUSIVE! See that pic I took above from the live panda cam?! That little blob coming out of what looks like a panda face? That's Mei licking her wee babe! I promise - it really is. I watched this happen ... for a LONG time. It was definitely her tongue.
Some people may be keeping close watch on the Smithsonian National Zoo's Panda Cam for fleeting glimpses of the newest addition (Me!). Mommy Mei Xiang has been doing an excellent job caring for her newborn; unfortunately for us - the adoring public - that means she's keeping her teeny tiny cub close and out-of-sight as she grooms and nurses the little one. It's like she knows the paparazzi are ready to pounce ...
Fortunately, I have a second computer monitor which comes in handy during the work day when there are important cams like puppies and pandas to keep close tabs on. In case you missed it, here's a video snippet by the National Zoo as Mei cares for the cub, lifting him gently in her mouth.
Congratulations, Mommy Mei Xiang!
The giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., gave birth last night at approximately 10:46 p.m. local time.
She's tired and holding her newborn oh so cuddly close, like a good mommy! Read the full Animals in the News story.
In honor of the sweet little newborn, check out this oldie but goodie - sneezing baby panda! This never gets old!