National Zoo panda cub revealed as female

Sept. 5, 2013 at 5:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The National Zoo in Washington announced the baby panda born at the facility is a female and revealed her father as the zoo's Tian Tian.

Officials said they tested fragments of the zinc finger protein gene to confirm the cub born Aug. 23 is female, as was a stillborn cub born to the same mother the following day, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Senior zoo curator Brandie Smith said the mother, Mei Xiang, was artificially inseminated in March using sperm from Tian Tian, a resident of the National Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo's Gao Gao, who had previously fathered four cubs in San Diego.

A paternity test was carried out using a mouth swab from the cub's brief physical examination last week and Tian Tian was found to be the father. Officials said the cub is Tian Tian's third offspring.

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