The oldest giant panda in the United States, Mei Xian, gave birth to a bear cub at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington. She did this using an artificial insemination procedure. Information about this appeared on the zoo's website.
Zoo staff said that the mother and cub are doing well, but more accurate research on the bear cub is still ahead. In a few days, experts will report the sex of the panda cub.
вЂњMei Xian is at a fairly advanced age for motherhood, we understood that the chances of bearing a baby are small. However, we wanted to take this opportunity and give it a chance, вЂќ said Steve Monfort, a zoo spokesman. She had a frozen sperm fertilization operation back in May.
Mei Xian became the second giant panda in the world to give birth to offspring.
In 2015, Mei Xian underwent artificial insemination. In previous years, she gave birth to four cubs, but only two of them, born in 2005 and 2013, survived.
Giant pandas are endangered. This species has extremely low fertility, especially in captivity. The habitat of animals is limited to several mountain ranges in central China. In total, about 1.6 thousand giant pandas live in nature, about 300 more вЂ” in captivity, mainly in the PRC.