Noteworthy News

My Condolences to Mei Xiang

This morning I woke up and was browsing Facebook in bed when I caught this piece of news from the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Facebook Page:

We are broken-hearted to share that we have lost our little giant panda cub. Panda keepers and volunteers heard Mei Xiang make a distress vocalization at 9:17 a.m. and let the veterinarian staff know immediately. They turned off the panda cam and were able to safely retrieve the cub for an evaluation at 10:22 a.m., which we only do in situations of gravest concern. The veterinarians immediately performed CPR and other life-saving measures, but sadly the cub was unresponsive. We’ll have more updates as we learn more, but right now we know is that the cub weighed just under 100 grams and that there was no outward sign of trauma or infection. We’ll share information with you as we learn more.

My heart is so heavy this morning after hearing about the panda cub.  If you’ll remember, I was so excited in my post last week announcing its birth.  I’ve shed so many tears for this baby panda this morning, and I know that won’t make sense to a lot of you.  After all, it’s only an animal in a zoo 1,300 miles away… but I was so hopeful.  To me, that little baby panda was the epitome of innocence.  It was barely 3 pounds, hairless, completely dependent on its mother.  The fact that something so vulnerable can die is a hard pill to swallow.

Here’s the last video the National Zoo posted of the baby:

It’s unfair that helpless, innocent things in this world have to die.  The only comfort is that God knows what he’s doing, and our world isn’t just spinning chaos.  Still, I’m sad about the loss of Mei Xiang’s baby and I can’t make that sadness go away right now.  When babies (human or not) die, it takes time to ponder life and take hope.

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Congratulations, Mei Xiang!

Great news!  Last night at 10:46 p.m., a baby panda was born to Mei Xiang from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.  I’m so excited!  I love the National Zoo and try to visit the pandas every time we visit my sister-in-law Sara.  One of my go-to “sick day” movies is a documentary I bought about the birth of Tai Shan, Mei Xiang’s last baby cub.  It just lifts my spirits to see a baby panda romping around being cute.  According to this article from the Los Angeles Times, the baby is loud and healthy.  His or her first exam will be in a few weeks, when we’ll find out if the cub is a boy or a girl!  By tradition, the baby won’t be named until its 100th day, which by my calculations should be Christmas Day!  How perfect!

Here’s a video documenting the birth (skip to 14:24 to see the exciting part!):

Are you excited about the new baby panda?  I think the world could always use more cuteness.

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