Panda cub that died had lung problem

Oct. 11, 2012 at 1:50 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A panda cub that died at the National Zoo in Washington last month had a lung problem that caused liver failure, zoo officials said.

Suzan Murray, the zoo's chief veterinarian, said the cub's lungs were not fully formed, leading to a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream and eventually caused necrosis, or a hardening of the liver that proved fatal for the six-day-old cub.

The Washington Post reports the cub's mother, Mei Xiang, seems to be getting back to normal. She recently stopped carrying around a toy zookeepers gave her after the cub died. Mei Xiang's appetite has also returned and the rare black and white bear is again eating a full compliment of bamboo and fruits.

Mei Xiang is 14, middle-aged for pandas, but zookeepers said there's no reason she can't become pregnant again.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Mei Xiang
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Boehner delays House vote for new speaker
NASA releases thousands of Apollo mission photos on Flickr
FDA approves new treatment for advanced lung cancer
U.S. Marines introduce 29 gender-neutral jobs
Snowden: U.S. won't respond to offers to serve prison time