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Giant Panda Cub Update: August 27, 2015

August 27, 2015

Overnight, it was evident to panda keepers and veterinarians that our healthy panda cub was active and nursing appropriately throughout the night. Mother Mei Xiang is showing proper maternal care which includes short sleep cycles and adjusting the tiny cub in her arms for better positioning and grooming.

Media Advisory: Press Conference: Giant Panda Cub Death at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo

August 26, 2015

The smaller giant panda cub died this afternoon shortly after 2 p.m. More information will be provided at a press conference. The larger cub appears to be strong, robust, behaving normally and is with mother Mei Xiang.

One of the Giant Panda Cubs at the National Zoo Has Died

August 26, 2015

The smaller of the two giant panda cubs born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo Aug. 22, died shortly after 2 p.m. today, Aug. 26. The panda team rotated both cubs in the past 24 hours allowing each to benefit from spending time with their mother, Mei Xiang.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo Giant Panda Cub Update – Aug. 25

August 25, 2015

Mei Xiang has not been a willing participant in the panda team’s efforts to switch the cubs since 2 p.m. yesterday afternoon. She has the larger cub in her possession. The panda team is caring for the smaller cub and will continue efforts to swap the cubs about every four hours.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo Giant Panda Cub Update

August 24, 2015

Our panda cubs are doing well but the panda team had a challenging night.

Giant Panda Cub Update

August 23, 2015

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute confirms the first giant panda cub born at 5:35 p.m. and a second giant panda cub was born at 10:07 p.m., Aug, 22. Shortly after the second birth, a panda team of three keepers retrieved one of the cubs per the Zoo’s Giant Panda Twin Hand-Rearing protocol. The cub was placed in an incubator and cared for by veterinarians and panda keepers.

Giant Panda Cub Born at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

August 22, 2015

Giant panda Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) gave birth to a cub at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo today, Aug. 22. The panda team witnessed the birth at 5:35 pm. Mei Xiang reacted to the cub by picking it up. The panda team began preparing for a birth when they saw Mei Xiang’s water break at 4:32 pm and she was already having contractions. The sex of the cub won’t be determined until a later date.

Veterinarians Viewed Surprising Giant Panda Ultrasound at Smithsonian’s National Zoo

August 19, 2015

For the first time at the National Zoo, veterinarians detected something new during an ultrasound procedure this morning on giant panda Mei Xiang. They believe it is a developing giant panda fetus. Based on the size of the fetus, which is about four centimeters, veterinarians estimate that Mei Xiang could give birth early next week, or possibly in early September. In past years, veterinarians have only detected changes to Mei Xiang’s uterus, which occurs for both a pregnancy and pseudopregnancy. Historically, and since Aug. 7 of this year, Mei Xiang declined participating in ultrasounds at this stage, so it was a surprise when she responded to the panda keepers’ calls this morning.

Critically Endangered Black-Footed Ferret Diversity Improved by Using Frozen Sperm for Assisted Reproduction

August 13, 2015

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) has been a leader in black-footed ferret conservation since a small population of this solitary, nocturnal carnivore was discovered in 1981. SCBI received offspring from the species’ surviving 18 individuals and was the first institution to breed black-footed ferrets outside of Wyoming. Faced with a genetic bottleneck, SCBI scientists mitigated threats to the survival of the species by using semen that had been cryopreserved for 10 to 20 years to artificially inseminate live female ferrets.

Five Critically Endangered Cuban Crocodiles Hatched at Smithsonian's National Zoo

August 12, 2015

Five critically endangered Cuban crocodiles hatched at the National Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center between July 29 and Aug. 7. The eggs were laid by Dorothy, a 57-year-old genetically valuable crocodile. The hatchlings are less than a foot long, but they could reach up to 10.5 feet long when fully grown.

We are sad to announce that a 30-year-old male kori bustard at the Bird House died Aug. 1. A pathology report will...

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Monday, August 3, 2015

We’re excited to share the discovery of the first new canid species in Africa in 150 years! Meet the African golden...

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Thursday, July 30, 2015

Visiting the Elephant Community Center, you may notice a new accessory in Kandula’s yard. It’s a crate. A 17-foot-long,...

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Giant Anteater Update

February 12, 2015

Giant anteater Maripi gave birth to a female pup the night of January 24. Keepers monitored both Maripi and her pup via a closed circuit camera. Within 48 hours keepers became concerned that the pup was not thriving.

Smithsonian's National Zoo Security Update and Planning: Statement from the Director

January 23, 2015

The Smithsonian's National Zoo's attendance varies greatly throughout the year varying from a few hundred visitors per day in January to more than 25,000 visitors per day in April. To safely and securely handle the crowds, the Zoo implements temporary access control during high traffic times.