Monday, September 24, 2012

Baby Panda Dies At National Zoo

After being alive for just one week, the panda cub born to 14 year old Mei Xiang has died at the National Zoo. The keepers had found the baby dead yesterday morning after hearing distress calls from the mother. It took them about an hour to be able to retrieve the cub and tried to bring the panda back to life, but were not successful. I had been so excited that the cub was born. I don't think anyone was expecting bad news like this.

23 comments:

SusanB said...

I've heard baby pandas have a high mortality rate, but it is tremendously sad.

All about Eve said...

I was so sad to hear about this too

Amber said...

They talked about this on our local news last night, and I guess the babies are about the size of a cucumber and risk being crushed by the mother. The zookeeper they talked to said that this panda had perfect features - whatever that means. Poor little buddy :(

Lurky Loo said...

So sad! I feel bad for the momma bear too. Animals feel more than most people realize.

dia papaya said...

Poor little buddy indeed. I grew up with the pandas at the National Zoo - Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing. This is so sad. Baby pandas are such a miracle. It's amazing when the little ones survive.

This gives me the sads for Mama Mei Xiang :(

Kewi said...

I'm not gonna rant but I have to say that place is a dump these days and I'm not surprised that this happened.

*karen* said...

I haven't been to the National Zoo in years, even though I live right outside of DC, but people around here were REALLY excited about the baby and it's very disappointing news.

Ari said...

when i heard about this, tears came to my eyes...when they said they heard the mama crying, i didn't even want to imagine it...they need to stop housing these endangered animals and keep them in their homes

zombiecrush said...

This is so sad!!!!

Caitlin Costanzo said...

Darwin law... Very sad. Poor pandas

AKM said...

I am facing bad mental health issues along with PMS right now, and this made me sob first thing today at my desk. Fabulous.

I am kind of one-the-fence regarding zoos, but if we DON'T house these endangered animals and attempt to get them to breed, they will die out, no? Aren't there only, like, 300 pandas in the WORLD?! That's terribly sad. One could argue for natural selection, I suppose, but I for one would rather have pandas in captivity, as scientists and zoologists try to strengthen their numbers. A necessary evil, as they say.

AKM said...

*on-the-fence

Cindy said...

The animal autopsy said the baby didn't suffocate, so it wasn't the mother's fault. It had milk in it's stomach so it didn't starve. They are still working on a cause of death.

smashbash said...

This is terrible.

AKM- you are right about population assistance. In Hawaii the local goose, Hawaiian Goose, only was down to around 70 birds. With the help of animal breeding experts and temporary housing for Babies and moms the population has soared to over 3000.

When it comes to evolution and life I would like to let things happen naturally. But as a scientific mind I realize thats almost impossible at this point. A lot of the panda population was killed by men, as have other beautiful animals. So should it not be the responsibility of man to help repopulated that which it killed?

On the other hand, there is only so much we can do with science and technology. Panda's are known to be one of the most picky animals when it comes to breeding. It is terribly sad.

dia papaya said...

AKM - hang in there! Videos of kittens and puppies works everytime!!!

auntliddy said...

Goodbye, little buddy. We hardly knew ye.

auntliddy said...

Goodbye, little buddy. We hardly knew ye.

Mari said...

Poor Mei Xiang. :(
All I can think of are her distress calls. There isn't any difference to love in living things.

AngusParvo said...

No one was expecting bad news? I would've been surprised had the baby panda lived. Those things are almost impossible to breed. Not sure how they're not extinct, not from human encroachment but just from the extreme fragility of the species.

The Black Cat said...

I agree that they should not be bred in captivity, they need to live in a sanctuary in their homeland. It's cruel to breed them and then have the baby die. Humans can be so disgusting towards other species and to one another.

motcollins said...

It's very hard to breed most animals in captivity, and pandas are one of the least successful. Heck, at one point they were showing them panda porn as a tutorial.

We had our last little butterstick thrive but then we had to give him back to China. Since then we always hope but it is usually bad news. They are saying it looks like the cub had something wrong with her liver.

Sian said...

:(

WUWT? said...

I was at my town's zoo one day when the mother camel was bellowing out in heartbreaking distress. It sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before, but it needed no translation. "Something happened to her baby!" I said as we hurried our way to their enclosure. The baby was gone. The mother continued to cry out for the hour or more we were at the zoo. I asked at the desk. As part of the breeding program, the baby was sent to another zoo because the mother would not enter estrus again until she was done nursing. It made me so sad to hear her obvious pain and loss. "She'll be better in a few days," the staff said. I wonder how the baby handled the separation, if he also cried for days. Years later, it still makes me very sad to remember.

Anyway, I imagine the distress cry of the panda as being much like that, or worse because she knew her child was dead, and not just missing. It makes me so sad.

Animals had emotional lives that people conveniently ignore. I don't get too preachy on it too often, but I am much much more at peace as a vegetarian than I was knowing I was contributing to the suffering and death of sentient life as the price of a meal.