National Zoo says female giant panda has given birth to cub

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Mei Xiang, the female panda, plays in her yard. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Washington’s National Zoo says its female giant panda has given birth to a cub .

Zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson says that panda Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) appeared to go into labor Saturday. The zoo later said on Twitter that it had confirmed that the panda’s water had broken. Baker-Masson said it was not clear when a cub might be born but the zoo said it could take hours.

Mei Xiang’s first cub, Tai Shan, was born in 2005. Her second cub, Bao Bao, turns 2 on Sunday. A second, stillborn cub was also born in 2013. And in 2012, Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub that died after just six days. Its lungs hadn’t fully developed.