DC National Zoo Panda Cub Necropsy Showed Lungs Not Fully Formed, Liver Didn't Get Enough Oxygen

9:31 AM, Oct 11, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- National Zoo officials talked about the final results of the panda cub necropsy and gave an update about Mei Xiang, the mother giant panda, on Thursday morning.

The cub was born on Sunday, Sept. 16 and died several days later. Officials say the cub's lungs were not fully formed and that the cell death in the liver of the cub indicates there was not enough oxygen getting to the liver.

Later in September, officials with the Smithsonian National Zoo shared preliminary results from the necropsy of the giant panda cub. Chief veterinarian Dr. Suzan Murray shared the following:

- there was evidence of milk in the cub's gastrointestinal tract, meaning the cub had been nursed, but they don't know at this point how recently it had been nursed

- free fluid was discovered in the abdomen. The amount was moderate to increased for a cub but further testing will determine more about whether this was a factor in the death

- the cub's liver felt hard in places and the color was not uniform, indicating that the liver may be a component ion the death but again, officials won't know until the slides are back

- the coat of the cub was in good condition

- officials say the cub may have been a female

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