: News

Filed Under:

Hormones Indicate Possible Panda Pregnancy In D.C.

Play associated audio
From 2006: Tai Shan leans on his mother, Mei Xiang, while gaining his balance. Based on a detected increase in hormone levels, Mei Xiang could either give birth within six weeks to two months or come to the end of a false pregnancy.
Jessie Cohen/Smithsonian's National Zoo
From 2006: Tai Shan leans on his mother, Mei Xiang, while gaining his balance. Based on a detected increase in hormone levels, Mei Xiang could either give birth within six weeks to two months or come to the end of a false pregnancy.

WASHINGTON (AP) Scientists at the National Zoo have detected rising hormone levels in the zoo's female giant panda.

This means Mei Xiang could either give birth in 40 to 50 days or come to the end of a false pregnancy. She was artificially inseminated in January.

Reproductive biologist Janine Brown says zoo keepers remain "hopeful, but cautious" that Mei Xiang is pregnant. Brown says the panda's hormone levels and behavior sometimes indicate she is pregnant when she's not.

Veterinarians are conducting weekly ultrasounds to look for a fetus. So far, they haven't seen any indication of one, but it's still too early. Panda fetuses don't start developing until the last weeks of a gestation period.

Mei Xiang gave birth to Tai Shan in 2005. He was sent to a breeding program in China earlier this year.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

NPR

Barbershop: UofL Basketball Ban, Football Concussions And The NFL Women's Summit

ESPN contributor Kevin Blackistone, Bloomberg View's Kavitha Davidson and The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery talk about the UofL basketball team, public opinion of the NFL, and women in sports.
NPR

After Introducing Changes, Keurig Sales Continue To Fall

Despite America's high coffee consumption, Keurig reported disappointing sales this week. Even during its popular holiday selling period, the numbers haven't perked up in recent years.
NPR

On The Clock: Rubio Gets The Most Talking Time In Tonight's Debate

It was the last debate before the New Hampshire primary and Donald Trump was back onstage. Which GOP candidate ended up with the most talking time?
NPR

How Limited Internet Access Can Subtract From Kids' Education

Smartphones are often credited with helping bridge the "digital divide" between people who do and don't have Internet access at home. But is mobile Internet enough for a family with a kid in school?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.