Officials at the National Zoo are still trying to determine the exact cause of death of the baby Giant Panda that died Sunday morning, but say preliminary findings show it had liver and abdominal abnormalities.
Chief veterinarian Suzan Murray says the cub had small gonads, indicating it was probably a female. It showed no signs of external trauma, which means the cub, which weighed about 4 ounces, was not crushed to death by its much larger mother.
They expect more lab results in two weeks.
Meantime, zookeepers are turning their attention to Mei Xiang. They say, sadly, she has been cradling a toy at night, behavior she exhibited just before the cub was born. She did, however, sleep well and has been eating bamboo and biscuits.
Zoo officials, while expressing concern about the endangered species, are not talking about the future of the giant panda breeding program. They say they have been in contact with their Chinese colleagues and remain dedicated to the conservation mission.