A giant panda cub born last weekend at the National Zoo in Washington has died.
Zoo officials say the cub was found dead Sunday morning after panda keepers heard sounds of distress from its mother, Mei Xiang.
Staffers were able to retrieve the cub about an hour later. The cause of death is unknown. The cub appeared to be in good condition, and there were no outward signs of trauma or infection.
The cub had been a surprise at the zoo. Fourteen-year-old Mei Xiang had five failed pregnancies before giving birth.
Panda cubs are born about the size of a stick of butter and are delicate infants. They're at risk for infections and so small that it's not unheard of for panda moms to accidentally crush their young.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.