Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Giant panda cub born Sept. 16 at National Zoo dies

WASHINGTON — The giant panda cub born a week ago at the National Zoo in Washington died Sunday morning, saddening zoo officials who had heralded its unexpected arrival.

The 4-ounce cub, about the size of a stick of butter, showed no obvious signs of distress and made its final recorded noise shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday, zoo officials said at a news conference.

The cub's mother, Mei Xiang, then made an unusual honking sound at 9:17 a.m. that her keepers interpreted as a distress call, and she moved away from where she had been nesting with the cub. About an hour later, one keeper distracted her with honey water while another used an instrument similar to a lacrosse stick to pick up the cub.

The cub, whose gender could not be determined externally, was not breathing and its heart had stopped. A veterinarian attempted CPR before it was pronounced dead at 10:28 a.m.

"This is devastating for all of us here," National Zoo director Dennis Kelly said. "It's hard to describe how much passion and energy and thought and care has gone into this."

A necropsy was being conducted to determine the cause of death, and preliminary findings were expected today, said Suzan Murray, the zoo's chief veterinarian. The cub showed no external signs of trauma, she said.

The new cub, born Sept. 16, had been a surprise at the zoo. Fourteen-year-old Mei Xiang had five failed pregnancies before giving birth.

Panda cubs are especially vulnerable to infection and other illness, making the first weeks of life critical.

Comments

China says it welcomes visit by US officials amid trade spat

China says it welcomes a planned visit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to Beijing next week as world's two biggest economies tangle on trade
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 4:40 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 4:40 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
GOP unsettled by narrow win in US House race in Arizona

GOP unsettled by narrow win in US House race in Arizona

It took a big money push from the Republican Party, tweets by the president and the support of the state's current and former governors, but the GOP held onto an Arizona U.S. House seat they would have never considered endangered in any other year
Updated: 1 hour ago
Verdict expected in submarine death of Swedish journalist

Verdict expected in submarine death of Swedish journalist

A verdict is expected at the Copenhagen City Court on whether Danish inventor Peter Madsen tortured and murdered a Swedish journalist during a private submarine trip
Updated: 1 hour ago
EU urge Russia, Iran, Turkey to deliver on Syria promises

EU urge Russia, Iran, Turkey to deliver on Syria promises

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherni is calling on Russia, Iran and Turkey to force a halt to fighting in Syria, as international donors gather in Brussels to drum up aid for the conflict-ravaged country
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victim

Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victim

Jurors at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial are poised to start deliberating after a marathon day of closing arguments
Updated: 1 hour ago
Toronto van attack suspect may have felt anger against women

Toronto van attack suspect may have felt anger against women

A Facebook message posted before a van plowed onto a crowded Toronto sidewalk is raising the possibility the suspect nursed grudges against women and it has recalled a 1989 massacre of 14 women that remains one of Canada's most traumatic acts of violence
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man who disarmed Waffle House shooter hailed by lawmakers

Man who disarmed Waffle House shooter hailed by lawmakers

A man who disarmed a gunman accused of killing four people at a Nashville Waffle House has received a standing ovation from Tennessee lawmakers
Updated: 1 hour ago
Toronto van attack suspect may have felt anger against women

Toronto van attack suspect may have felt anger against women

A Facebook message posted before a van plowed onto a crowded Toronto sidewalk is raising the possibility the suspect nursed grudges against women and it has recalled a 1989 massacre of 14 women that remains one of Canada's most traumatic acts of violence
Updated: 1 hour ago
Judge deals big setback to Trump on 'Dreamers' program

Judge deals big setback to Trump on 'Dreamers' program

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration must resume a program that has shielded hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation but gave it 90 days to restate its arguments before his order takes effect
Updated: 2 hours ago