There is a great sense of loss tonight at the National Zoo, after the death of the Giant Panda cub born just one week ago. It was the second cub born to parents Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, whose previous cub, born in 2005, Tai Shan, is now in a breeding program in China.
Zoo officials learned of the death of the newborn cub when they heard Mei Xiang making a distress call this morning. They sensed the honking signaled something wrong, and distracted the mother, while they retrieved the cub. Keepers administered CPR to no avail.
The panda house at the zoo is now closed. Zoo staffers are keeping a close watch on Mei Xiang and say anyone who is interested can also monitor her behavior on the zoo's web panda cam.
The latest cub to die makes the 6th giant panda cub born at the National Zoo, which has not survived. Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing, predecessors to Mei Xiang and Tian Tian produced 5 cubs that did not live.
Officials say they expect findings on a preliminary cause of death in the next 24 hours.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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