Video found on YouTube V2343.The Washington Post has just reported through Associated Press, Updated: Sunday, September 23, 12:09 PM AP:
Giant panda cub born Sept. 16 at National Zoo in Washington dies; cause of death not known
"WASHINGTON — A giant panda cub born last weekend at the National Zoo in Washington has died.
Zoo officials say the cub was found dead Sunday morning after panda keepers heard sounds of distress from its mother, Mei Xiang.
Staffers were able to retrieve the cub about an hour later. The cause of death is unknown. The cub appeared to be in good condition, and there were no outward signs of trauma or infection.
The cub had been a surprise at the zoo. Fourteen-year-old Mei Xiang had five failed pregnancies before giving birth. Panda cubs are born about the size of a stick of butter and are delicate infants.
They’re at risk for infections and so small that it’s not unheard of for panda moms to accidentally crush their young. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed."
My own response to this news is first off, this leaves alot of questions, as I don't know how accurate this article is. My first is why did it take the zoo an hour to remove the cub when Mei began to vocalize her distress. Other zoos have small doors built into the den areas so that they can reach in and remove the cub if needed, ASAP. Maybe the NZ did I don't know.
The zoo has incubators why didn't they remove the cub to ensure it was healthy and doing well and then place him/her back with Mei. What is the purpose of having incubators if you don't use them. I know incubators are also needed in case of twins being born but as an example, Zoo Atlanta removed their newly born cub from Lun Lun right away when they realized their cub was thought to be struggling. They saved his life and helped him to overcome an infection.
The NZ has been very public about returning Mei Xiang or Tian Tian or both back to China because of pregnancy issues. What I don't understand is how you cannot feel privileged with having two 'endangered giant panda's in your care but instead publicly report that you want to switch them out because you think they are damaged goods.
This has been a sore spot for me since they began talking about this and publishing it in the media. Sorry, to those who feel no one should criticize a zoo, as I have been told many times, but today, with this tragic news, I just have to question what are the Smithsonian National Zoo's priorities?
In answer to my questions concerning the process that the zoo staff used to get to the mother or cub in case of an emergency, is an article in the Washington Post that explains their that very process.
Giant panda cub dies at National ZooBy Michael E. Ruane and Victor Zapana, Published: September 23
The distress call had gone out at the National Zoo: The week-old giant panda cub was in trouble, perhaps dying, and the keepers had to get it out of the den for treatment, with its agitated 240-pound mother a few feet away.
It was a practiced but dangerous maneuver. Standing behind protective bars, one keeper, Marty Dearie, distracted the adult female with honey-flavored water, while another, Juan Rodriguez, reached in with a long-handled “grabber” and pulled the cub through the bars.
he baby was then whisked to the keepers’ office in the panda compound where veterinarian Nancy Boedeker used her fingers to do gentle heart massage on an animal that weighed about four ounces.
But there was no heartbeat and no respiration, and after about 10 minutes Boedeker stopped. The zoo’s giant panda cub, born amid hope and fanfare Sept. 16, was pronounced dead at 10:28 a.m., after a life of not quite 61 / 2 days.
Somber zoo officials on Sunday painted this portrait of the cub’s final moments, along with the effort of keepers and veterinarians to save its life.
The cub’s sudden death struck the zoo community on a beautiful fall morning, as the facility on Connecticut Avenue in Northwest Washington was thronged with visitors. The staff was “devastated,” zoo director Dennis Kelly said.
“I’m worried about my keepers,” he said. “They’ve got 2,000 animals to take care of, and they’ve got to remain safe.”
And it upended, for now, all the plans for a new era of giant pandas at the National Zoo and in the Washington region. Zoo officials said it was too early to discuss what they might do about their pandas in the future.
The zoo’s giant panda population stands at two: Mei Xiang, the cub’s mother, and mate Tian Tian, its father. The cub was so small that the zoo did not yet know its sex.
“Distressed vocalizations” from Mei Xiang were heard at about 9:17 a.m. Sunday, and keepers realized “this is not right, this is not good,” zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson said.
Kelly said Mei Xiang “got up and moved off of where she was holding the cub, and made a honk,” which was unusual for her. “We surmised that that was a distress call,” he said.
The keepers also had stopped hearing the cub’s healthy squealing, which had gone on for a week and was a sign of a thriving newborn.
Emergency protocols were activated, and within minutes a team of four keepers and two veterinarians had assembled in the keepers’ office in the panda house.
The effort to extract the cub from the den was delicate. “[Mei Xiang] is a 240-pound wild bear with maternal instincts,” Kelly said. “And she’s upset.”
First the keepers tried calling Mei Xiang to get her out of the den, but that didn’t work, zoo officials said.
Then Dearie and Rodriguez entered an area adjacent to the den, where they were protected by bars but could reach the cub if they could distract the mother.
Dearie did so by splashing honey water near her, and at about 10:15 a.m. Rodriquez got the cub.
He handed it to Dearie, who rushed the cub to the keepers’ office, which is stocked with incubators and other emergency equipment.
You can read the rest of the article at this link:Giant Panda cub dies at National Zoo