The smaller of twin panda cubs born to Mei Xiang dies after experiencing respiratory difficulty. After the twins were born, zoo keepers decided to swap the cubs in Mei Xiang’s possession every four hours so each had time to nurse and spend quality time with her. After the most recent swap staff noticed the smaller cub’s weight was faltering.
We are sad to report that the smaller of the two panda cubs has died. The larger cub appears to be strong, robust, behaving normally and is with mother Mei Xiang.
The National Zoo in Washington says Mei Xiang has had twins. Both cubs appear healthy. They are the 17-year-old panda’s third and fourth surviving offspring.
Mei Xiang is born in China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, Sichuan Province. Her mother was Xue Xue and her father was Lin Nan; both parents were wild pandas. Her name means “beautiful fragrance.” She has black hip-high “stockings” extending up her hind legs. Her eye patches are oval, and a pale black band runs across the bridge of her nose.