By SouthFloridaReporter.Com, Aug 23, 2015 9:45am Update: The National Zoo has just released new video showing the birth of the second Panda cub:
By Tyler Pager, USA TODAY, Aug 23, 2015 – The giant panda at the National Zoo gave birth to twins Saturday.
The Zoo tweeted that Mei Xiang gave birth at 5:35 p.m. The panda’s water broke around 4 p.m., officials said. It could be months, however, before the new cubs makes a public appearance.
At a press conference Saturday evening, officials said they do not know the sex or the paternity of the cubs, but both will be determined.
“All of us are thrilled that Mei Xiang has given birth,” said zoo director Dennis Kelly. “Thank you to all of our excellent keepers, veterinarians, researchers and Chinese colleagues who contributed and therefore deserve credit for this conservation success.”
Throughout the day Saturday, the panda was displaying behaviors consistent with being in labor, such as body-licking and being restless, said Annalisa Meyer, a spokeswoman for the National Zoo. The public can observe the giant panda on the Zoo’s live panda camera.
Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated twice in April — once from the semen on Tian Tian, the giant male panda at the National Zoo, and once from the semen of a panda in China. On Aug. 19, officials at the zoo said they believed they spotted a fetus in Mei Xiang during an ultrasound test.
Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are the parents of Tai Shan, who was born in 2005, and Bao Bao, who was born in 2013. Bao Bao turns 2 on Sunday.