National Zoo: Giant panda cub died of liver disease - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

National Zoo: Giant panda cub died of liver disease

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Three weeks since the death of the National Zoo's giant panda cub, final pathology results are back. Zoo officials say the female cub died of liver disease that might have been caused by a lack of oxygen due to lungs that were not fully formed.

The latest findings will lead to discussions between U.S. and Chinese officials about the future of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, the cub's parents.

A five-year agreement would allow a swap of one or both of the animals for one or two breeding pandas in China. No decision has been made yet.

Handlers say Mei Xiang has stopped the cradling behavior she was exhibiting right after her cub died and is starting to eat more. She lost roughly 20 pounds since the death of the cub. But officials say she's doing better, and they have reopened the Panda House for visitors who want to see how she and Tian Tian are doing. 

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