Female giant panda’s hormones rising at the national zoo - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Female giant panda’s hormones rising at the national zoo

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The Smithsonian National Zoo's scientists say its female giant panda, Mei Xiang, has experienced a secondary rise in urinary progesterone.

This rise which began in July means that she may have a pseudopregnancy or give birth to a cub in between 40 and 55 days.

The zoo was unable to naturally breed Mei Xiang with the male panda, Tian Tian. In March, Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated twice with sperm collected from Tian Tian and Gao Gao, a giant male panda from San Diego’s zoo.

Panda teams at the zoo are monitoring Mei Xiang using the upgraded panda-cams.

The female panda has started building a nest. This is normal with a rise in urinary progesterone according to zoo officials. 

Mei Xiang has given birth to two cubs. One cub died a week after it was born in 2012.The surviving cub, Tai Shan, was born in 2005.

Visitors can see Mei Xiang and Tian Tian in person at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Habitat at the Smithsonian National Zoo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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