WASHINGTON - We're keeping our paws crossed!
Veterinarians at the Smithsonian's National Zoo say they spotted a kicking and swimming fetus during Giant panda Mei Xiang's ultrasound Monday.
They first detected tissue consistent with fetal development on Friday.
If the fetal tissue continues to develop, veterinarians estimate Mei Xiang could give birth soon. There is also potential that the fetus could be resorbed or she could miscarry, official say.
"In the middle of a pandemic, this is a joyful moment we can all get excited about," said Don Neiffer, chief veterinarian at the Smithsonian's National Zoo who conducted the ultrasound in a statement on Monday. "We are optimistic that very shortly she may give birth to a healthy cub or cubs. We're fortunate that Mei Xiang participated in the ultrasound allowing us to get sharp images and video. We're watching her closely and welcome everyone to watch with us on the panda cams."
Mei Xiang has already given birth to three cubs: Tai Shan, Bao Bao and Bei Bei. All three cubs were moved to China at age four as part of the Zoo's cooperative breeding agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association.