City Desk

National Zoo’s Panda Gives Birth to Second, Stillborn Cub

The newest mother at the National Zoo, Mei Xiang, gave birth to a second, stillborn panda cub Saturday at 7:29 p.m.

The panda delivered a healthy cub early Friday evening, and the Zoo reports that the first cub "continues to do well."

Zookeepers Saturday evening watched Mei on its live panda cam grooming the stillborn cub for 17 minutes, according to a press release. When the new mother stopped grooming her cub, it fell from her body onto the floor of the den, laying motionless and making no sound. Staff later removed the dead cub with a grabbing device.

The cub was "never alive," the zoo said, and had clear developmental abnormalities. A necropsy is underway that is expected to provide additional information.

Photo of Mei Xiang and her first cub courtesy the National Zoo

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  • John Smith

    Its 50/50 with pandas that they will survive infancy and adulthood. Habitat is probably shrinking to a degree because of man, but the pandas mating and reproduction skills are hastening its extinction.