Rare panda birth surprised zoo keepers despite 24/7 video surveillance

A panda was born last night at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. It marks the third birth for Mei Xiang, a 25-year-old giant panda, who picked up and began cuddling her cub immediately after it was born. Conceiving cubs in captivity has been a continued struggle — Mei Xiang’s pregnancy only came as a result of an artificial insemination back in March — and giant pandas continue to remain on the endangered species list in part because of it. As of 2004, there were only believed to be 1,600 remaining.

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