DC panda cub doing well

Updated: 2013-08-26 11:02

By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily)

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Throngs of visitors to the zoo on Sunday were only able to see Tian Tian in person, while they were able to observe Mei Xiang and the newborn cub only via webcam.

Giant pandas have long been big stars at the National Zoo and in Washington, where local Metro fare cards bear the image of a panda and local panda lovers call themselves pandamania.

So far, Mei Xiang has given birth to four cubs at the National Zoo. The first one, Tai Shan, born in 2005, was a sensation, but Tai Shan returned to China in 2010 for reproductive programs. According to the arrangement, newborn cubs from parents on loan from Beijing belong to China.

Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub last September, but it died after only six days. Kohl said Mei Xiang grieved for days after the passing.

DC panda cub doing well

She said a Chinese expert was on site to offer help this time. The National Zoo has also sent its staffers to the giant panda breeding center in southwest China's Sichuan province for training.

Usually a panda cub stays with its mother for 18 months, at which point the mother starts to push the cub away, according to Kohl.

Since it takes months to make sure a newborn panda can survive, the new cub has not yet been given a name, according to Kohl.

About eight years ago, Tai Shan got his name on his 100-day birthday, chosen by an Internet vote of 202,000 people from around the world. Tai Shan is the name of a famous mountain in China's Shandong province. It is also the Chinese translation for Tarzan, the fictional apeman character.

Agencies contributed to the report.


(China Daily USA 08/26/2013 page1)

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