Panda Cub’s Daddy and Sex Revealed
The two-week old cub is officially a female and her panda daddy is none other than Tian Tian.
Scientists at the National Zoo revealed the results of both the sex and paternity tests Thursday morning.
The cub's mother, Mei Xiang, underwent artificial insemination twice on March 30 after attempts to have her mate naturally with Tian Tian were unsuccessful. But like in all panda mating stories, there was some drama: Scientists and veterinarians artificially inseminated Mei Xiang with a mix of fresh and frozen semen collected from Tian Tian and from another panda, Gao Gao, who lives at the San Diego Zoo. Either one of them could have sired this new cub.
The tests revealed that the stillborn panda Mei Xiang delivered on Aug. 24 was also a female and fathered by Tian Tian. The two cubs were fraternal twins.
The baby panda is still unnamed and, following Chinese tradition, will not be named until after 100 days.
Read all the latest panda updates on the zoo's panda blog.
Photo of Mei Xiang and her first cub courtesy of the National Zoo