Liver Problem Killed Baby Panda: Zoo
Mother Mei Xiang reportedly improving
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 11, 2012 10:03 AM CDT
In this Dec. 19, 2011 file photo, Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, eats breakfast.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – A National Zoo veterinarian says a liver problem was indeed to blame for the death last month of a 6-day-old giant panda cub. Chief veterinarian Suzan Murray told a news conference today that the cub's cause of death was liver necrosis, or the death of liver cells. Murray says the cub's lungs were also underdeveloped and likely didn't provide enough oxygen to the liver.

The zoo also offered a glimpse of panda mother Mei Xiang in her yard today. Her behavior has slowly returned to normal since the cub's death. The cub, believed to be female, was born Sept. 16. Zoo officials and panda fans were devastated by its death less than a week later. The birth was a surprise because it hadn't been clear whether Mei Xiang was still fertile.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Liver Problem Killed Baby Panda: Zoo is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 5 comments
Oct 13, 2012 3:18 AM CDT
bush did it!
Oct 11, 2012 4:31 PM CDT
It's sad to see the little female didn't make it. I hope the zoo vets keep trying.
Oct 11, 2012 2:48 PM CDT
Now we have a second "press release" and dog and pony show at the zoo to reinforce the supposition of the hypothesis that was released in the last press release. What the zoo and its hierarchy care about is publicity and money. That is all they care about because it is what makes their high and mighty positions more valuable when it comes to contract renewal time. The people who really care for the animals are those that care for them first hand. Others are the ones who keep the park running from the people who clean up the place to those who keep the facilities running. They receive almost no public credit and all of the blame when something does/doesn’t happen to the liking of those in their ivory towers who gaze down their noses on the "great unwashed' as they work at their jobs day after day. As for the prior mentioned elite their only goal in life is to make themselves look better in any way they can therefore the need for repeatedly summoning the press to the zoo for yet another "press release".