WASHINGTON -- The National Zoo delivered sad news Sunday morning: The panda cub born to Mei Xiang a week ago has died.

Here are the details provided by the Zoo:

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo community mourns the loss of the giant panda cub born Sunday, Sept. 16. Panda keepers and volunteers heard a distress vocalization from the mother, Mei Xiang, at 9:17 a.m. and notified the veterinarian staff immediately. The panda cam was turned off and the staff were able to safely retrieve the cub for an evaluation at 10:22 a.m. Veterinarians immediately performed CPR and other life-saving measures but the cub did not respond.

Mei Xiang is under close observation.

Veterinarians’ first observations include:

  • The cub was in good body condition and weighed just under 100g
  • No outward sign of trauma
  • No outward sign of infection

As The Associated Press reports, the panda cub's birth had been a surprise. Mei Xiang had five failed pregnancies before giving birth.

One of the many tweets posted since the news broke sums up the mood:


Steven Shepard
More like heartbreaking. RT The National Zoo says the Panda cub has died.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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