By Michael E. Ruane
From: The Washington Post
Photo: Sarah L. Voisin / THE WASHINGTON POST
Keeper Becky Malinsky was getting ready for bed Sunday, sitting on the couch with her dog when she decided to check the National Zoo’s panda cam, which was monitoring Mei Xiang, the female giant panda.
Malinsky knew that Mei was nearing the end of her annual reproductive cycle, and that most experts figured, after five failed attempts to impregnate the panda, the odds of having a new cub at the zoo were almost nil.
But Malinsky decided to check anyhow. She fired up her laptop and logged on to the camera that had been intently trained on Mei for the past few weeks. She couldn’t see much, but she could hear the panda panting. She also heard a strange squeaking noise in the background.
Maybe there was something wrong with the camera, she thought. She logged off, and logged back on again. The squeaking continued. Then it hit her. This wasn’t a glitch. These were the squeals of a cub.
Thus, heralded by a cry like that of a squeezed tub toy, did Washington learn that seven years after the birth of the zoo’s only surviving panda cub, it had another on which to lavish its prodigious affection.
Read more: The Washington Post