Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at Washington’s National Zoo, has been devoting her maternal attention to the larger of the twin cubs she gave birth to over the weekend, jeopardizing the health of the smaller cub.
Since Monday afternoon, the 17-year-old bear has dismissed zookeepers’ attempts to switch the two cubs for nursing. Staff have relied on bottles and tube-feeding to sustain the smaller cub, whose weight is fluctuating, ABC News reports.
Twins are often overwhelming to panda mothers, and on Tuesday the National Zoo tweeted that it was still a “high-risk time” for the young cubs. The zoo said that it would keep attempting to switch out the two.