Giant panda cub born healthy in Washington DC zoo

A giant panda cub in Washington DC on 25 August 2013 The giant panda cub's gender may not be known for weeks

Related Stories

A giant panda cub born at a Washington DC zoo is in "excellent" health, zoo keepers said after its first check-up.

The panda, born on Friday at the Smithsonian National Zoo, weighs 4.8oz (136g), has a steady heartbeat, functioning lungs and digests food.

But a second cub was stillborn. Mother Mei Xiang has one other surviving cub, born in 2005.

Pandas are critically endangered and are difficult to breed. A cub born last year in Washington died after six days.

"All the external features looked perfectly normal, so the cub has been described as vibrant, healthy and active," zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson told the Associated Press news agency. "This is joyful news."

The baby panda is pink with white fur and has not opened its eyes yet.

Veterinarians took a DNA sample from the cub to establish its paternity.

Mei Xiang had been artificially inseminated with sperm from Tian Tian, the male panda at the same Washington zoo, and a panda from the San Diego Zoo called Gao Gao.

Zoo keepers are expected to try to examine the cub again on Tuesday. Its gender may not be known for two to three weeks.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • TravelAround the world

    BBC Travel takes a look at the most striking images from the past seven days


  • A bicycle with a Copenhagen WheelClick Watch

    The wheel giving push bikes an extra boost by turning them into smart electric hybrids

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.