Mei Xiang at Washington's National Zoo, Jan 201, 2011
Mei Xiang at Washington’s National Zoo, Jan 201, 2011

The Washington National Zoo’s female giant panda has given birth to a cub following five consecutive false pregnancies since 2007.

The zoo said Mei Xiang gave birth to the cub Sunday evening.  The staff has set up a “Panda Cam” in hopes of spotting the relatively tiny infant.

The staff says it can hear the infant but can not see it because of the large den the mother panda has built.

The new arrival’s gender has not yet been verified.  It is Mei Xiang’s second cub with panda Tian Tian through artificial insemination.

Among those anxiously awaiting the panda cub’s arrival was Dennis Kelly, the director of the National Zoo. He was running on just an hour’s sleep when VOA’s Kate Woodsom spoke with him Monday about how the new mom and her baby are doing. (Listen to their conversation on Soundcloud below.)



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