- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Officials at the Smithsonian National Zoo issued an update Tuesday morning on the status of the giant panda cub born Friday. The release details less than successful efforts to secure the cub for a second medical exam.

The release reads as follows:

This morning, the panda team attempted to get the cub for a second veterinary exam. Mei Xiang was more alert and more aware of the keepers’ presence today, especially compared with Sunday when she seemed focused on the cub to the exclusion of everything else around her. As opposed to Sunday, today she positioned her body and her cub so that panda keepers couldn’t reach the cub. When they attempted to distract her and retrieve the cub, she persistently moved out of reach. It’s clear that she was holding tight to the cub and did not want to give it up. The keepers stopped the attempt so as not to upset her. The panda team continues to monitor Mei and the cub constantly on the Giant Panda Cam, sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund. Regular exams help us ensure the cub’s continued health and growth. The Zoo will provide updates on the cubs on Facebook and Twitter.

As a postscript, officials added the following about the zoo’s male giant panda:

Today is Tian Tian’s 16th birthday. In celebration, he’ll receive a fruitsicle cake of sweet potatoes, carrots, pears, apples, and a little juice.

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