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Baby panda born at the National Zoo

Baby panda could be on the way, mom appears to be in labor
Posted at 2:52 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 19:03:07-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington’s National Zoo says panda matriarch Mei Xiang has given birth and is caring for her newborn attentively.

The National Zoo said the birth happened at 6:35 p.m. ET on Friday.

Watch the zoo’s panda-cam.

Mei Xiang has had three previous cubs. All were eventually transported to China under an agreement with the Chinese government. Mei Xiang has been spending most of her time in a small den indoors, where she has created a nest out of branches.

In an Instagram post Friday afternoon, the zoo says, "Mei Xiang has become increasingly restless and started body licking — both signs that labor has probably started!”

Mei, at 22, would be the oldest giant panda to successfully give birth in the United States. The oldest in the world gave birth in China at age 23.