Oxygen deprivation caused panda cub’s death
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The newborn giant panda at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington died six days after its birth in September because of insufficient oxygen caused by poorly developed lungs.
Zoo authorities announced Thursday that the 4-ounce cub’s final necropsy revealed lung and liver damage, her lungs were underdeveloped resulting to oxygen deprivation which is consistent with the changes in the liver.
The mortality rate for pandas in their first year in captivity is estimated to be 26% for males and 20% for females, noted zoo officials.
In the report, the zoo officials said that they are working with colleagues in China to answer questions about giant pandas to ensure the best care in captivity and bolster the species’ numbers in the wild. They added that “the information about how this cub died will add to the scientific body of knowledge about giant pandas.”
Dr. Don Moore, a specialist at the zoo, said that the cub’s developmental issues were possibly not related to the cub mother’s health or her chances of attempting to get pregnant again.
The unnanmed cub was conceived by its 14-year-old mother Mei through artificial insemination with Tian-tian, the zoo’s15-year-old giant panda.
Zoo veterinarians previously claimed that tests revealed that the cub had a nursed with her mother, who is reportedly eating normally and behaving like her old self.
The baby panda’s birth was celebrated by many people, as mother and cub could be viewed through the webcam installed by the zoo.