Giant Panda Mei Xiang Welcomes Second Cub
There's another new mom who may just have the cutest little one around: the National Zoo's female giant panda, Mei Xiang.
The panda welcomed her cub in Washington, D.C., Sunday night (watch birth below) on the heels of hopeful speculation that she was pregnant; she previously welcomed son Tai Shan in 2005 – and her maternal instincts are already kicking in.
"Mei Xiang is behaving exactly the same way she did when Tai Shan was born," chief veterinarian Suzan Murray says on the zoo's website. "She is cradling her cub closely, and she looks so tired, but every time she tries to lie down, the cub squawks and she sits up and cradles the cub more closely."
Adds Murray of Mei Xiang, whose mate is Tian Tian: "She is the poster child for a perfect panda mom."
The cub, who weighs an estimated "few ounces," has yet to be examined and is only being monitored via webcam so Mei Xiang can raise her new additional naturally.
"It's still sinking in for us," Tweets keeper Nicole MacCorkle.
And there might be another update soon: Although zoo officials think there is only one cub, if there is a twin, they will know by Tuesday morning.
Follow the National Zoo on Twitter to see glimpses of the new addition from a camera feed.