The smaller panda of the twins born to giant panda Mei Xiang at Washington DC’s National Zoo has died, the zoo said on Wednesday.
Mei Xiang was paying more attention to the larger of the panda cubs, and ignoring the smaller one, the zoo said on Tuesday. Zookeepers were struggling to get her to nurse the smaller cub.
The twins were born on Aug 22. On the day of the birth, zoo spokesperson Pamela Baker-Masson said keepers were “thrilled, absolutely thrilled.”
According to the zoo, giant pandas have twins 50% of the time, and this is only the third time a giant panda is given birth to twins in the U.S. Only two giant pandas have successfully raised twins in the past, and it required a lot of human help, the zoo said.