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Giant panda at National Zoo gives birth to cub: ‘A much-needed moment of pure joy’
by Ryan W. Miller & Joel Shannon, USA TODAY

“It’s panda-monium amid pandemic.”

“In a refreshing bit of good news out of Washington, Mei Xiang, the giant panda matriarch of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, gave birth to a cub Friday and immediately began cradling and caring for it, zoo officials said.”

“A precious giant panda cub has arrived! We’re overjoyed to share that Mei Xiang gave birth at 6:35 p.m. and is caring for her newborn attentively,” the Zoo tweeted Friday. “



“The zoo encouraged people to tune in to its “Giant Panda Cam” page to see Mei Xiang and the cub.”



“Zoo officials say they are monitoring the mother and the new cub using the cams. It may be several days before zookeepers retrieve the cub to perform a neonatal exam, and the cub’s sex will be determined in the future, the zoo said in a release.”

“At 22, Mei Xiang is the oldest giant panda to successfully give birth in the United States. The oldest in the world was 23.”

“Her age made the chances of having a cub “slim” — but zookeepers “wanted to give her one more opportunity to contribute to her species’ survival,” zoo administrators are quoted in a release.”



“Giant pandas are an international symbol of endangered wildlife and hope, and with the birth of this precious cub we are thrilled to offer the world a much-needed moment of pure joy.”