Smithsonian National Zoo reveals gender of giant panda cub

The giant panda cub born 5:32 p.m. on August 23, 2013 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo is pictured receiving an exam from animal care staff at 8:56 a.m. in Washington, August 25, 2013.  Credit: Reuters
The giant panda cub was born at 5:32 p.m. on Aug. 23 at the Smithsonian National Zoo.
Credit: Reuters

A rare giant panda born two weeks ago at the Smithsonian National Zoo is female, zoo officials said on Thursday.

The cub appears to be in good health, with a round belly and loud cries, said Jen Zoon, a zoo spokeswoman. The cub’s gender was not immediately known after its birth on Aug. 23, but tests by Smithsonian scientists proved it was female.

The cub, which has yet to be named, was born to 15-year-old panda Mei Xiang in the U.S. national zoo, and tests showed the father is 16-year-old Tian Tian of the same zoo.

“Mei Xiang is attentive when it cries, so she’s being a very good mom,” the spokeswoman said.

Giant pandas are one of the world’s most endangered species. The cub was conceived through artificial insemination on March 30 with a mixture of fresh and frozen semen collected from Tian Tian and from Gao Gao, a resident of San Diego Zoo.

Scientists also confirmed that a second, stillborn cub Mei Xiang delivered on Aug. 24 was female and also was sired by Tian Tian. The cubs were fraternal twins, the zoo said.

The natural home of giant pandas is in a few mountain ranges in central China. There are about 1,600 known to be living in the wild and some 300 in captivity, mostly in China.

Female pandas are able to conceive only for two or three days in the spring. The gestation period is about five months.

Mei Xiang’s first cub was born in 2005 and lives in China. A second cub died six days after birth in 2012.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.