Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

September 17, 2012

Cub born to giant panda at National Zoo

(Continued)

Still, there was hope.

Laurie Thompson, one of the about half a dozen panda keepers at the zoo, said each of the keepers gave Mei Xiang a pep talk.

"I know you can do this. You need to prove them wrong. You need to have a baby this year," she said she told Mei Xiang, who she has worked with since 2000.

Thompson said she got a telephone call Sunday night from another keeper. "I think I hear a panda cub," the keeper said. A small group then got on their computers to watch the zoo's panda cam. Sure enough, there was the unmistakable bird-like screech of a cub.

For now, keepers said, Mei Xiang is doing well and responding to the cub's fussy grunt and high-pitched squeal. So far, there have only been fleeting glances of the cub and it's not clear what sex it is. But keepers will continue to watch the two on camera, the same view the public has online, and won't step in unless necessary.

Keepers will likely do their first exam in three to four weeks, and it will be several months before the public can see the cub in person.

Zoo director Dennis Kelly said officials expect the newborn will bring an additional 250,000 to 500,000 visitors to the zoo over the next year. That's on top of the 2 million visitors the zoo already receives annually.

Under an agreement with the Chinese government, zoo officials can keep the cub for four years before it has to go back to China, just as its older brother Tai Shan did in 2010.

Still, there's some danger for the cub, especially in the next two weeks. Pandas have accidentally crushed their small cubs. And the zoo's first panda couple, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, had five cubs, but none of them survived more than a few days.

Text Only
National and World
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 31, 2014

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Comiskey.jpg Sterling not the only bad owner

    As the Donald Sterling era in with the Los Angeles Clippers looks to be winding down, many are calling him the worst owner in sports history. From being cheap with the players to his most recent racist comments, it's hard to argue against.
    Yet, there are a few owners of athletic teams who can give Sterling a run for title of worst in history.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • US warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries

    July 31, 2014

  • Israel vows to destroy Hamas tunnels

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP: Lerner emails show bias against conservatives

    July 31, 2014

Local News
AP Video
Despite Moratorium, Detroit Water Worries Remain Faith Leaders Arrested at DC Deportation Protest Family Dispute Cripples Northeast Grocery Chain CDC Warns Travelers Amid Ebola Outbreak US Stocks Plunge, Wiping Out July's Gains Demoted Worker Shoots CEO, Kills Self Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Raw: 2 Hurt in NY Trench Collapse House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout Suing Obama: GOP-led House Gives the Go-ahead Obama: 'Blood of Africa Runs Through My Veins' Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow
Sister Newspapers' News