Sci-tech

Sorry, DC: No 'Pandamonium'-National Zoo panda isn't pregnant

Sorry, DC: No 'Pandamonium'-National Zoo panda isn't pregnant”

Giant panda Mei Xiang, who had been exhibiting some signs of pregnancy, does not have a bun in the oven, the National Zoo says.

If you've had your hopes up for another baby panda at the National Zoo this year, you're going to have to settle for the baby red pandas.

It can be very hard to determine if a panda is pregnant, the National Zoo notes.

That secondary rise in hormone levels began July 28, meaning she would either give birth or her pseudopregnancy would end within 30-50 days of that.

Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated twice on May 25 with the sperm of her zoomate, Tian Tian.

China, which is home to the giant panda, owns and leases all giant pandas in US zoos.

The panda house at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat closed September 1 to provide Mei Xiang with quiet, since she shows extra sensitivity to noise during the final weeks of a pseudopregnancy or pregnancy.

Mei Xiang is a three-time panda mom, giving birth to Tai Shan in 2005, Bao Bao in 2013, and Bei Bei in 2015.

Mei Xiang is becoming more alert, and her behavior is returning to normal. The zoo had closed its Panda House on September first after the 19-year-old bear exhibited a heightened sensitivity to noise, elevated hormone levels, and other signs indicative of either a pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. Bao Bao was born August 23, 2013, and was moved to China last February. Bei Bei also will move to China by the time he turns 4.

The Zoo will continue to provide updates on the pandas on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #PandaStory and the Giant Panda e-newsletter.



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