The National Zoo’s Baby Giant Panda Is A Girl

She’s been described as healthy and active. Her mother had miscarried before, and the cub’s twin didn’t survive.

1. This is the newest member of the giant panda family at Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., pictured here at 2 days old.

Courtney Janney/Associated Press

2. The cub was born on Aug. 23, but zoo officials just announced Thursday that DNA samples revealed she is female. Here she is at 13 days:

3. The samples also confirmed that Tian Tian, the zoo’s male giant panda, is her father.

National Zoo


It’s a girl! Zoo geneticists confirm that our giant panda cub is a girl AND her father is Tian Tian! #cubwatch

/ Via

4. Here’s Mei Xiang giving birth to the cub:

Handout via Getty Images

5. Mei Xiang previously had trouble conceiving with Tian Tian. Last year, she gave birth to a cub that died at six days. The zoo decided to artificially inseminate her this year with sperm from Tian Tian and San Diego Zoo’s Gao Gao.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo / AP

6. The female cub was delivered with a stillborn fraternal twin. But the zoo has described the baby as healthy and active, having survived for at least 10 days. Giant panda cubs are named when they are 100 days old.

Handout / Getty Images

7. “It’s got a fat little belly,” Senior Curator Brandie Smith said. “It’s very active, very vocal … We’re finally starting to really celebrate.”

Handout / Getty Images

8. Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are owned by China. Mei Xiang’s other cub, Tai Shan, was born in 2005 and sent to China five years later.

Handout / Reuters

Tai Shan at 7 months old.

CORRECTION: Mei Xiang’s last cub died at six days. An earlier version of this item misstated its age at death. (9/5/13)

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Lisa Tozzi is the global news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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