- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2005

ATLANTA (AP) — A baby panda may be on the way at Zoo Atlanta.

The zoo’s 7-year-old giant panda, Lun Lun, is showing symptoms of a pregnancy, and she has been removed from public view while zoo officials watch her round-the-clock for a possible birth.

A panda cub was born at the National Zoo in Washington earlier this month, and zoo officials have said the baby appears to be thriving.

There is no way to test for a panda pregnancy, and pandas sometimes show symptoms even when they have not conceived. Lun Lun recently has been less active, eating less and showing hormonal changes, Zoo Atlanta officials said.

“She could give birth at any time — if she’s pregnant,” Zoo Atlanta spokeswoman Jacqueline Petty said Monday.



Zoo officials announced in March that Lun Lun had been artificially inseminated and that if pregnant she would give birth by August. Lun Lun and the zoo’s male giant panda, Yang Yang, have not mated.

The National Zoo’s female panda, Mei Xiang, gave birth July 9 to the first panda cub born there in 16 years.

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