- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 28, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Zoo said Wednesday its female giant panda is not pregnant after all.

The zoo said a final ultrasound and hormone analysis late Tuesday confirmed that Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) was experiencing a pseudo pregnancy over the past several months.

Volunteers at the zoo began a 24-hour pregnancy watch Friday as Mei Xiang’s hormone levels began to level out. This is the fifth time she’s experienced a pseudo pregnancy.

In 2005, Mei Xiang gave birth to her only cub, Tai Shan (TY-shawn). He was sent to a breeding program in China earlier this year.

This may have been the zoo’s last chance to breed Mei Xiang and male Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN). A 10-year loan for the pair expires at the end of the year. The pandas could be returned to China at that time.

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