Mei Xiang Gives Birth to Twin Panda Cubs

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Form/Genre: (Panda)

Date: 22 August 2015

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Summary

  • Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the National Zoological Park, gives birth to twin pandas. The first panda arrived on August 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm weighing 86.3 grams, and the second at 10:07 pm weighing 138 grams. Zoo staff had been on panda birth watch but were not expecting twins. Mei Xiang focused her energies on caring for the larger cub, born second. Often, with twins, keepers switch the cubs every four hours so the mother cares for both, but Mei Xiang would not switch the cubs. Despite zoo staff efforts to care for the much smaller cub, it died at 2pm on Wednesday the 26th.
  • In keeping with tradition, the surviving cub will not be named for 100 days. Mei Xiang was inseminated with sperm from Tian Tian, her companion at the NZP, and Hui Hui, from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Woolong, China, and it is not known yet which is the father. The day after the cubs were born, their older sister, Bao Bao, celebrated her second birthday with a frozen cake and other festivities.

Subject

  • Tian Tian
  • Mei Xiang
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.) Panda House
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

National Zoological Park Press Releases, August 23, 2015, and August 26, 2015

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

22 August 2015

Topic

  • Animals
  • Habitat conservation
  • Wildlife
  • Reproductive biology
  • Births
  • Giant panda
  • Bao Bao
  • Wildlife conservation

Form/Genre

(Panda)

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