Giant panda cub dies at zoo

2012-09-23 22:02

Washington - The giant panda cub born at the National Zoo just one week ago died on Sunday, zoo officials said.

While the exact cause of the baby panda's death is yet to be determined, zoo officials said the cub, which weighed just under 100g, was in good body condition and that there were no outward signs of trauma or infection.

The cub's death was discovered after panda keepers and zoo volunteers heard a distress vocalisation from its mother, Mei Xiang.

The panda cam that allowed the public to watch the baby and its mother over the internet was turned off and zoo staff retrieved the body for evaluation.

The unnamed cub was born on 16 September after five years of failed efforts at conception.

Fourteen-year-old Mei Xiang was described as a good mother.

At the time of the birth, zoo officials had said the first month of life was crucial in the life of a panda cub.

This was Mei Xiang's second cub.

She gave birth to her first cub, Tai Shan, on 9 July 2005.

Tai Shan is now at the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda in Wolong.

  • Jacques - 2012-09-23 23:45

    Must be heartbreaking to hear those distress calls, hell :(

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-09-24 00:04

    Poor thing she must be grieving, so sorry to all involved.

  • Stefanus - 2012-09-25 06:19

    They don't belong in zoos.

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