Giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth Friday to a wiggling cub and immediately began cuddling her offspring, Washington’s National Zoo said.
The cub was born at 6:35 p.m. Eastern Time, the zoo said in an Instagram post that announced the “joyous news.” It will take some time before the sex of the cub can be determined.
🐼 A precious giant panda cub has arrived! We’re overjoyed to share that Mei Xiang gave birth at 6:35 p.m. and is caring for her newborn attentively. Positive mothering behaviors include nursing her cub and cuddling it close. 👀🎥 TUNE IN: https://t.co/99lBTV2w92. #PandaStory pic.twitter.com/x02fEYfAmx
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) August 21, 2020
“Mei Xiang picked the cub up immediately and began cradling and caring for it,” the zoo said in a statement. “The panda team heard the cub vocalize.”
Panda lovers around the world were able to see the birth on the zoo’s Panda Cam. Zookeepers also were using the camera to keep an eye on mom and baby.
The cub is Mei Xiang’s fourth. Her first three offspring, Tai Shan, Bao Bao, and Bei Bei, were transported to China at age 4 under an agreement with the Chinese government.