WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

National Zoo Goes On 24-Hour-A-Day Panda Pregnancy Watch

Play associated audio
Mei Xiang might be pregnant—or not.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ableman/485495048/
Mei Xiang might be pregnant—or not.

The National Zoo says it's on 24-hours-a-day panda watch as a female giant panda shows behavioral changes consistent with a pregnancy or pseudopregnancy.

Volunteer behavior watchers have been monitoring Mei Xiang via panda cams all day and night since Aug. 7. Keepers say Mei Xiang is very lethargic, eating less and shredding bamboo for her nest. Zoo officials say the panda sometimes cradles and grooms her toys.

Keepers say the behaviors have been seen every year during this time, and could either indicate that she's pregnant or suffering a pseudopregnancy.

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.

Veterinarians have tried, but failed, to perform ultrasounds.

NPR

Not My Job: Author Randy Wayne White Gets Quizzed On Theme Restaurants

In addition to being the author of the Doc Ford books and the Hannah Smith series, White has been an explorer, a deep sea diver, a full-time fishing guide, and he owns restaurants throughout Florida.
NPR

This Historian Wants You To Know The Real Story Of Southern Food

Michael Twitty wants credit given to the enslaved African-Americans who were part of Southern cuisine's creation. So he goes to places like Monticello to cook meals slaves would have eaten.
NPR

A Local Sheriff's Race Is Drawing National Attention And A Hefty Price Tag

One of the country's most expensive races for local office is in Arizona's Maricopa County where Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a noted opponent of illegal immigration, has the toughest challenge of his career.
NPR

#NPRreads: Two Looks At America — And One Look At America's Pastime

Correspondents, editors and producers from NPR's newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading.

Leave a Comment

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