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Newborn Panda at National Zoo Healthy

Officials at the National Zoo in Washington say a newborn panda is healthy, vibrant and active.

Zookeepers were able to briefly examine the pink panda Sunday and then returned it to its mother Mei Xiang. The cub, born on Friday, weighed in at a normal 137 grams and is approximately the size of a stick of butter.

The good news comes a day after the cub's twin was stillborn. The second cub was born 26 hours after the first, taking zookeepers by surprise. Senior Curator Brandie Smith told reporters that officials initially panicked when they saw the dead cub because they did not realize a second panda had been born.


"It was a few minutes of pure terror and - we have incredible behavior-watchers, we were watching her around the clock. We are trained behavior-watchers who are not only just monitoring her but actually recording behaviors that can help us learn more about giant pandas, so - it was minutes between the cub not moving and then realizing that this was a second cub. I would say probably about five minutes of pure terror."

Veterinarians will try to examine the surviving cub again on Tuesday. The cub's sex will not be known for two to three weeks.

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