A GIANT panda at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC, USA, has given birth to a tiny cub – and you can see them both on the zoo’s panda-cam.
Mum Mei Xiang gave birth on Friday 21 August to a healthy, wriggly baby. Cameras set up in Mei Xiang’s den capture 24-hour footage of the mum and her cub, which helps zookeepers to keep an eye on the pair without disturbing them. You can tune in too!
Baby pandas are born completely helpless and weigh only 90-120 g, but they grow quickly. The newborn cub is totally dependent on its mother and will spend most of its time tucked under Mei Xiang’s chin or arm for warmth. It communicates with loud squeaks and squeals, which you can often hear on the livestream. Keepers won’t be able to tell if it is a boy or a girl for a few months.
The arrival is definitely a cause for celebration, as the giant panda is still listed as a vulnerable species.
The new cub will stay with Mei Xiang at the zoo until it is around four years old, when it will be transferred to China to be part of the worldwide breeding programme for this species.
You can watch Mei Xiang and her cub online at https://nationalzoo.si.edu/webcams/panda-cam.
The cub will spend a lot of time tucked under Mei Xiang’s chin for warmth Mei Xiang hanging out in her enclosure last year