WASHINGTON A National Zoo veterinarian says a liver problem was to blame for the death last month of a 6-day-old giant panda cub.

Chief veterinarian Suzan Murray told a news conference Thursday that the cub s cause of death was liver necrosis, or the death of liver cells. Murray says the cub s lungs were also underdeveloped and likely didn t provide enough oxygen to the liver.

The zoo also offered a glimpse of panda mother Mei Xiang in her yard Thursday. Her behavior has slowly returned to normal after the cub s death.

The cub, believed to be female, was born Sept. 16. Zoo officials and panda fans were devastated by its death less than a week later. The birth was a surprise because it hadn t been clear whether Mei Xiang was still fertile.

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