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by Prince Of Petworth — May 26, 2017 at 9:55 am 0

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

From the National Zoo:

“The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s team of reproductive scientists, veterinarians and panda keepers performed two artificial inseminations on 18-year-old female giant panda Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) on May 25. The first procedure started at 2 p.m. and the second at 11:30 p.m. Scientists and keepers had been closely monitoring Mei Xiang’s behavior and hormones for the past several weeks. Daily hormone reports showed Mei Xiang’s estrogen levels peaked May 24, an indication that she was ovulating and able to become pregnant. Female giant pandas are only in estrus, or able to become pregnant, for 24 to 72 hours each year. (more…)

by Prince Of Petworth — May 24, 2017 at 10:00 am 1 Comment

Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

And you know what that means…

From the National Zoo:

“Mei Xiang, the Zoo’s 18-year-old female giant panda, is showing behavioral and physical signs of estrus. She has been increasingly restless lately and has been calling to the Zoo’s resident male, Tian Tian, who has also spent a lot of time lately looking for Mei Xiang and calling for her. Mei Xiang has been pacing and has also been sloshing about in a pool of water in her enclosure—typical of both males and females ready to breed. Aside from behavioral changes, scientists have also noticed that Mei Xiang’s external genital area is swollen and pink—another indicator of estrus. Her urine samples, collected daily, also show a rise in her estrogen levels which indicates she is close to ovulation.

Panda breeding can often feel like a race against time, as female giant pandas are able to conceive for barely 36 hours each year in the spring. In that brief window, panda staff hope to give Mei Xiang and Tian Tian an opportunity to breed naturally. “The pandas haven’t successfully bred in the past, but we still give them the opportunity,” says Laurie Thompson, assistant curator of giant pandas. Scientists also plan to artificially inseminate Mei Xiang with Tian Tian’s semen.

Then, it’s several months of waiting to determine if she becomes pregnant. (more…)

by Prince Of Petworth — April 11, 2017 at 10:30 am 14 Comments

Photo Credit: Roshan Patel, Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Welp, I guess today is all downhill from here but it was worth it.

From the National Zoo:

“The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s nearly 7-month-old male Bornean orangutan infant, Redd, took his first trip on the O-Line April 4 carried by his mother, Batang. The 50-foot-high suspended cable track gives orangutans the choice and freedom to move between their yards at the Great Ape House and Think Tank.”

by Prince Of Petworth — April 6, 2017 at 11:00 am 4 Comments

Via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

“The start of spring brought a cheetah cub boom to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, where two large litters were born over the course of a single week. Three-year-old Happy gave birth to five healthy cubs on March 23. Seven-year-old Miti gave birth to seven cubs March 28 — two were visibly smaller and less active at the time of birth and died, which is common in litters this large. Both mothers are reportedly doing well and proving to be attentive to the 10 surviving healthy cubs, which have all been successfully nursing. Each litter includes two male and three female cubs.

“The average litter size is three, so this time we’ve got an incredible pile of cubs,” said Adrienne Crosier, SCBI cheetah biologist and manager of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Cheetah Species Survival Plan (SSP), which matches cheetahs across the population for breeding. “In just one week, we increased the number of cheetahs at SCBI by 50 percent. Each and every cub plays a significant role in improving the health of the population of cheetahs in human care and represents hope for the species overall.” (more…)

by Prince Of Petworth — March 7, 2017 at 1:45 pm 3 Comments


Thanks to Nancy for sending pics and the update on the baby sea lion pup:

“I was at the zoo yesterday, and wanted to share these pictures of a new addition to the Sea Lion family. She was so playful, and followed children’s hands along the glass. One person would toss their hat up in the air in front of her, and she would somersault in the water. A lovely addition to the zoo—I encourage everyone to go pay her a visit!”


by Prince Of Petworth — February 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

bao bao
Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

Ed. Note: During this time I plan on singing “there’s a tear in my beer” over and over again across the street at Duke’s Counter. I apologize in advance.

From the National Zoo:

“As part of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s cooperative breeding program with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, all cubs born at the Zoo move to China before turning 4 years old to breed with other pandas, helping to keep the population genetically diverse. Learn more about Bao Bao’s trip to China in this FAQ.

Bao Bao will be sent off with a series of celebratory events from Feb. 16 to 20, including 24/7 Bao Bao on Panda Cam 1. Check out the full schedule below for more details. (more…)


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