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Welcome to the World, Baby Panda

by Andrea Greengard

Welcome to the world, baby Panda! On August 21, 2020 the Smithsonian’s National Zoo animal care staff welcomed Mei Xiang’s newest baby panda to the world. Mei Xiang picked the cub up immediately after birth to begin cradling and caring for it. Zoo represbtatives say that a neonatal exam will be performed when keepers are able to retrieve the cub, which may take a few days. The sex of the cub will not be determined until a later date.

“Giant pandas are an international symbol of endangered wildlife and hope, and with the birth of this precious cub we are thrilled to offer the world a much-needed moment of pure joy,” said Steve Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. “Because Mei Xiang is of advanced maternal age, we knew the chances of her having a cub were slim. However, we wanted to give her one more opportunity to contribute to her species’ survival. I am incredibly proud of our animal care and science teams, whose expertise in giant panda behavior was critical to this conservation success.”

You can watch a live video stream of Mei Xiang and her panda cub on the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s website.

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