Baby Giant Panda Born At Smithsonian's Zoo [VIDEO]

First Posted: Aug 24, 2013 07:14 AM EDT

The Smithsonian's National Zoo can now hear the pitter patter of tiny panda paws as the zoo's female panda Mei Xiang gave birth to her third cub on Friday at 5.32 p.m two hours after her water broke.

Born via artificial insemination the unnamed new born was grabbed immediately after its birth by mother Mei Xiang. She was seen cradling and caring for her new born. The officials expected another two cubs after five hours of the birth of the first cub but unfortunately that did not happen. For the next few months the mother and child will be under constant watch by the zoo keepers.


After natural breeding attempts with the zoo's male panda Tian Tian failed, Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated twice on March 30. Semen from two different pandas was used. Analysis conducted this week will confirm who will be the lucky father of the newly born panda cub.


"I'm glued to the new panda cams and thrilled to hear the squeals, which appear healthy, of our newborn cub," said Dennis Kelly, director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo. "Our expansive panda team has worked tirelessly analyzing hormones and behavior since March, and as a result of their expertise and our collaboration with scientists from around the world we are celebrating this birth."

Mai Xiang has given birth to three cubs as a result of artificial insemination. Her first cub Tai Shan, was born on July 9,2005, and the second cub was born on September 16,2012 but died six days later from liver failure.

The David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat, will be temporarily shut to help mother and child bond well. They will be monitored through panda cam.

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