The Straits Times
Published on Oct 11, 2012

Liver problem to blame for panda cub's death: Zoo


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The giant panda cub that died at the National Zoo in Washington last month succumbed to liver disease caused by inadequately formed lungs, officials said on Thursday, releasing findings they hope would help them learn more about breeding the endangered black and white bears.

The cub, born on Sept 16, died when it was six days old in an agonising blow to wildlife conservation efforts.

Veterinarian Suzan Murray of the National Zoo said officials were unsure why the cub's lungs failed to form properly, but said the scientific community hopes to learn more about the causes of death in giant panda cubs.

Dr Murray said the cub's mother, Mei Xiang, who gave birth after years of failed efforts at conception, at age 14 could be nearing the end of her cub-bearing years, but she did not write off the possibility Mei Xiang could again give birth.