Will We Soon See a Panda Baby?

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smithsonian.com

UPDATED, MAY 20: The zoo announced today that unfortunately, Mei Xiang, experienced a pseudo or false pregnancy. On the plus side, this means the indoor part of the Panda Habitat will re-open as of today, so get yourself to the zoo!

What will it take for Mei Xiang, the National Zoo's celebrity panda, to get a visit from Mr. Stork. Logistically speaking, the Zoo's birdhouse is less than a quarter mile hike to the panda habitat, so why the resident storks are holding out on dropping off a bundle of joy at Mei's humble home is beyond comprehension. Is there an avian conspiracy afoot?

So, with non-traditional means of getting a baby off the table, we must rely on science—and at the moment, the Zoo's veterinarians are keeping a close watch on Mei's hormone levels. Progestin levels began to drop in early May, and when they baseline, we'll either see a new cub or we won't. Until then, Mei is playing it cool. No baby showers, no shopping sprees for binkies and onesies. However, her habitat has been closed off until further notice, which does nothing but make her adoring public wonder if they'll hear the pitter patter of panda paws once again. So, what do you think? Take our poll below!

About Jesse Rhodes

Jesse Rhodes is an editorial assistant for Smithsonian magazine. Before he became an editorial assistant, Jesse worked at the Library of Congress Publishing Office, where he was a contributor to the Library of Congress World War II Companion.

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