WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The National Zoo's panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a cubFriday, arriving around 5:32 pm, just hours after announcing her water had broke.
National Zoo officials said at a press conference soon after the birth that it appears that "Mei Xiang and the cub are doing well."They believe the cub is nursing and veterinarians hope to do a preliminary health exam within the next 48 hours.In addition, they will also take DNA samples of the cub to find out the sex of the cub.
Though there was a 50% chance that Mei Xiang could have been carrying twins, Zoo Officials said Saturday that now appears unlikely.
The Panda cam has been broadcasting the delivery. In a press release,Dennis Kelly, director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo said,"I'm glued to the new panda cams and thrilled to hear the squeals, which appear healthy, of our newborn cub. Our expansive panda team has worked tirelessly analyzing hormones and behavior since March, and as a result of their expertise and our collaboration with scientists from around the world we are celebrating this birth."
Mei Xiang is expected to stay in her den spending the next two weeks with her cub. The Panda Habitat at the Zoo has been closed since August 2nd and will remain closed until further notice but anyone can watch the mother and cub on the Panda cam.
This the third cub to be born at the National Zoo.The first, Tai Shan, was a popular draw for Zoogoersbefore being sentto China in 2010. Another cub, born last fall, only survived a week.