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Giant Panda Cub Born At The Smithsonian’s National Zoo

A huge congrats to the attentive and caring mother, Mei Xiang! 

According to the Smithsonian National Zoo, the moment the cub was born on August 21st, Mei Xiang picked up the newborn cub and immediately began to cradle and care for it. Just like any loving and devoted mother would. 

Animal care staff heard the cub vocalize and were able to catch a glimpse of the newborn. As of now, the team is monitoring Mei Xiang and her cub via the Zoo's panda cams. From what the team has observed so far, the panda cub appears to be strong and healthy. 

Check out some of the Smithsonian's panda cam footage below! 

Story via Smithsonian National Zoo

smithsonian panda cub national zoo giant cubs baby animals newborn aww adorable cute pandas
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Be still our beating hearts! What is about pandas that turn our hearts into mush? 

They're one of the cutest animals around, and it definitely helps that they're so silly and weird. Sadly, giant pandas are an endangered species that's been really tricky to breed and raise in captivity. According to National Geographic, "n the 1960s, only 30 percent of infant pandas born at breeding centers survived. Today 90 percent survive."

What changed? This video helps explains. 

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There were plans to have the birth be the first live broadcast of a panda cub being born, but plans were cut when the Chengdu Breeding Research Centre found out the panda was faking it.

"Pandas thought to be pregnant receive 24-hour care, more food, and live in an air-conditioned single room." Wu Kongju, who works at the centre, told Xinhua: "They also receive more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life."

The panda just wanted to live in luxury...

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