WASHINGTON—A giant panda at Washington’s National Zoo has given birth to her third cub.
Zoo officials say Mei Xiang’s water broke at 2:36 p.m. central time Friday and she gave birth two hours later.
She immediately picked up the cub and cradled it. The zoo's panda team said they heard the cub cry out.
They later confirmed it was nursing, another positive sign.
A Chinese panda expert performed artificial inseminations on Mei Xiang on March 30 after she failed to breed naturally with male panda Tian Tian.
The zoo began monitoring Mei Xiang around the clock Aug. 7 in case she was pregnant. Zoo officials had said they could not be sure if the panda was pregnant because she would not permit them to examine her closely.
Mei Xiang gave birth to Tai Shan, the National Zoo’s first panda cub in 2005. Her second cub died last year.
Giant pandas are endangered.
Watch the video of Mei Xiang giving birth: