National Zoo Inseminates Giant Panda Mei Xiang | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

National Zoo Inseminates Giant Panda Mei Xiang

Play associated audio

Scientists and veterinarians at the National Zoo have artificially inseminated their female giant panda Mei Xiang. The insemination was performed Saturday morning with a combination of fresh and frozen semen taken from the Zoo's male giant panda Tian Tian.

"We are hopeful that our breeding efforts will be successful this year, and we're encouraged by all the behaviors and hormonal data we've seen so far," said Dave Wildt, head of the Center for Species Survival at the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute, in a statement. "We have an extremely small window of opportunity to perform the procedures, which is why we monitor behavior and hormones so closely."

Scientists will monitor Mei Xiang's hormone levels over the coming months, and conduct ultrasounds to determine if she is pregnant. According to zoo officials, a pregnancy lasts between 95 and 160 days. Female giant pandas experience delayed implantation, during which the embryo does not develop until the final weeks of gestation.

The National Zoo's pandas have produced one surviving giant panda offspring, Tai Shan, who was born on July 9, 2005. He now lives in China. Mei Xiang gave birth to a female cub last September, but the cub died after a week due to lung and liver damage. Both cubs were born as the results of artificial insemination.

NPR

In This Test Kitchen, The Secret To A Great Cookbook Is Try, Try Again

Yotam Ottolenghi and his partner have a thriving food empire that includes wildly successful cookbooks. We go inside their London test kitchen as recipes are put through their paces.
NPR

Bugs: Not What's For Dinner — Until They're Tastier, Maybe

A U.K. researcher says the environmental argument for eating bugs isn't working on its own. She says chefs and policymakers must "make insect dishes appeal as food, not just a way to save the planet."
NPR

Fact Check: 3 Questions Answered About Bill Clinton's LLC

Does Bill Clinton have a secret corporation that he is using to hide money? Is it intended to pay a lower tax rate? Or is it something else entirely?
NPR

Questions Remain About How To Use Data From License Plate Scanners

The scanners are standard equipment for police, but what's not settled is what happens to all the data collected. That data can link people to certain addresses and flag unusual activity.

Leave a Comment

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