facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

National Zoo's panda may be pregnant

May 18, 2011 at 9:53 AM   |   Comments

1 of 4
| License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- Officials at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park in Washington announced Wednesday that the zoo's giant female panda Mei Xiang may be pregnant.

The officials told ABC News a sample of the giant panda's urine exhibited higher levels of the hormone progesterone, an indication that she could be carrying a cub.

"We have now entered a window of 40 to 50 days which will dictate whether a cub will be born," said Brandie Smith, senior curator at the National Zoo. "We have the nursery ready."

The zoo has set up a Web cam trained on Mei Xiang so visitors can observe the panda.

Smith said it is difficult for giant pandas to get pregnant because females only ovulate once a year for two days.

Mei Xiang and her mate Tian Tian are a little bit romantically challenged, Smith said, so Mei Xiang was inseminated with Tian Tian's sperm in January.

In 2005, Mei Xiang gave birth to her only cub, Tai Shan.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Dairy Queen hit by Backoff malware breach
2
Chelsea Clinton quits at NBC after 3 years
3
Putin mocks trapped Ukrainian soldiers, urges rebels to release them
4
Federal judge strikes down polygamy ban in Utah
5
Hillary Clinton on Michael Brown shooting: 'We are better than that'
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback