Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 1:11 pm
By Melisa Goh
The giant panda cub born to much excitement at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., last weekend was found dead this morning.
The Associated Press reports panda-keepers were alerted by sounds of distress from the cub's mother, Mei Xiang, but it was too late. The cause of death is not yet known, but zoo officials are planning a press conference at 1 p.m. ET.
Panda Mei Xiang hadn't given birth in seven years. After five attempts of trying to help her get pregnant, workers at the National Zoo were worried. So they started talking to her. One panda keeper told Mei Xiang, "I know you can do this." It worked — she gave birth Sunday night.