Giant panda gives birth in Washington, but who's the daddy?
Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 01:15
A giant panda has given birth to a cub at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington but it's not immediately clear who the father might be. Mana Rabiee reports.
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Now that the National Zoo in Washington has a brand new baby giant panda from mom Mei Xiang, one important question remains…
Who's the daddy?
Even the Panda Keeper doesn't know.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MARTY DEARIE, PANDA KEEPER, SAYING:
"There are two possibilities for the father. We did an artificial insemination. We used fresh and frozen sperm from our male, Tian Tian and we used frozen sperm from Gao Gao, who's the male in San Diego. At some point we will run a DNA test to determine paternity but that's not a critical thing right now."
What IS critical, is the little panda's health.
This is third cub for 15-year-old Mei Xiang.
Her second cub died in 2012 just six days after birth.
But, Zoo officials say she's doing well.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PAMELA BAKER-MASSON, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR IN THE OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, SAYING:
"Just like last year she's taking really good care of this baby. She's been very attentive. We've heard the cub squealing quite a bit and she just seems to be doing everything we would expect for a mother to do."
The cub's name will be decided with the Chinese, and the tradition is to wait 100 days.
But visitors already have suggestions.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AINSLEY WONG SUGGESTING NAME FOR PANDA CUB, SAYING:
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BELLA SUGGESTING NAME FOR PANDA CUB, SAYING:
Don't expect to know the cub's "LAST" name right away.
Paternity test to figure out WHICH male panda sired the cub won't happen for a few more weeks.
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