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Part Of National Zoo's Panda House Closed

Female panda Mei Xiang could be pregnant

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The panda house at the National Zoo has been closed as Mei Xiang may be pregnant.
Connor Mallon, Smithsonian National Zoo
The panda house at the National Zoo has been closed as Mei Xiang may be pregnant.

The National Zoo has closed part of its panda house because its female giant panda may be pregnant.

Zoo officials say Mei Xiang is starting to show some behavioral changes and sensitivity to noise, leading the zoo to close the area around her den. The zoo says Mei Xiang's hormones are rising, indicating she is pregnant or experiencing a false pregnancy.

Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated twice in March after failing to breed with male panda Tian Tian. The zoo says Mei Xiang started building a nest.

Mei Xiang has given birth to two cubs. Tai Shanm, the first surviving giant panda cub born at the National Zoo, was born in 2005 and a week-old cub died last September.

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