WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Panda Pregnancy Watch Kicks Off At The National Zoo

We'll only know if she's pregnant if she produces a cub in 40 to 55 days.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ableman/485495048/
We'll only know if she's pregnant if she produces a cub in 40 to 55 days.

It's that time of year again: the National Zoo's panda may—or may not be—pregnant.

The zoo announced today that Mei Xiang's urinary progesterone has spiked since mid-July, indicating that she may just give birth to another panda cub within the next 40 to 55 days.

Or not. Panda procreation is a surprisingly complex science, and many pandas experience pseudopregnancies, showing all signs of pregnancy but not actually producing a panda cub. Scientists can only be sure of a pregnancy when a panda cub emerges.

Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated twice in late March after natural breeding attempts with her on-again, off-again mate, Tian Tian, didn't pan out. Sperm from both Tian Tian and a male panda from San Diego, Gao Gao, was used.

The National Zoo's resident female panda gave birth to a cub in September 2012, but it died after only a week due to lung and liver damage. Before that, Mei Xiang produced Tai Shan—affectionately known as "Butterstick" after his size at birth—in 2005. She has also had five failed pregnancies.

Mei Xiang's enclosure will be closed to allow her to nest in peace, but the public can watch her on the zoo's panda cam.

NPR

'Deadpool' Is a Potty-Mouthed Splatterfest. A Really Funny One

NPR film critic Bob Mondello says Deadpool goes in deep on its R rating — and has plenty of fun doing it.
NPR

Buy Crop Insurance, Double Your Money

The nation's crop insurance program is really a lottery, says one economist. And it's rigged so that farmers win. In fact, farmers typically get back double the money they pay for premiums.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - February 12, 2016

D.C. Council Member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) joins Kojo and Tom Sherwood to chat about her upcoming fight for re-election.

NPR

Do You Like Me? Swiping Leads To Spike In Online Dating For Young Adults

A study by the Pew Research Center finds the use of online dating sites has mushroomed in the past few years, particularly among 18- to 24-year-olds.

Leave a Comment

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