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Panda Pregnancy Watch, Panda House Now Closed to Visitors

by Prince Of Petworth September 7, 2012 at 11:30 am 19 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu

From the National Zoo:

We are still in full panda pregnancy watch and the panda house is now closed to visitors. Mei is especially sensitive to noise, so we keep the panda house as quiet as possible to reduce possible noise-related stress. Virtual Zoo visitors can see Mei Xiang and Tian Tian on the panda cams. Tian Tian will also be in his yard during the day from early morning until about noon.

Mei has been less interested in food lately. She has almost completely stopped eating bamboo; she mostly just shreds it for her nest now. She chooses to not eat much of the produce we give her—like pears and sweet potatoes. These are signs that we are approaching the end of a pregnancy or pseudopregnancy. Over the holiday weekend, keepers started to see her cradle some of her toys and begin body licking. She will most likely spend more time doing those things as we get closer to the end of a pregnancy or pseudopregnancy.

Although Mei has been sleeping a lot more, she continues to diligently build her nest. It is much larger than it was last week. She dragged two very large bamboo stalks into her den. They are so big that they stick out into her indoor habitat, which makes cleaning in the morning more challenging.

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