WASHINGTON — The giant panda cub born a week ago at the National Zoo in Washington has died, and it was not immediately known why the animal died, zoo officials said Sunday.
Zoo officials said in a press release that the cub was found dead Sunday morning after panda keepers heard sounds of distress from its mother, Mei Xiang.
Staffers were able to retrieve the cub about an hour later. The cub appeared to be in good condition, and there were no outward signs of trauma or infection.
The cub had been a surprise at the zoo. Fourteen-year-old Mei Xiang had five failed pregnancies before giving birth, and only one panda cub has survived at the zoo in the past.