Maybe a proud mother soon

Mei Xiang, resting at the National Zoo , received artificial insemination from a Chinese veterinarian. AP, File
Mei Xiang, resting at the National Zoo , received artificial insemination from a Chinese veterinarian. AP, File
Posted: March 31, 2013

WASHINGTON - A Chinese veterinarian has performed an artificial insemination on the National Zoo's female giant panda, Mei Xiang (may-SHONG).

Animal keepers detected a rise in hormone levels and breeding behaviors this week.

A team of scientists performed the artificial insemination Saturday morning after animal keepers determined there was no natural breeding overnight between Mei Xiang and male panda Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN).

Veterinarian Tang Chunxiang traveled from China's Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda to assist.

The zoo says a second procedure was expected to be performed later Saturday.

Mei Xiang delivered a cub last year, but the tiny female died six days later. Her only surviving offspring, Tai Shan (tie-SHON), was born in 2005.

The panda house has been closed since Tuesday but is set to reopen Sunday.

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