National Zoo awaits birth of pandemic panda cub

WASHINGTON (AP) — Zookeepers at Washington’s National Zoo are on furry black-and-white baby watch after concluding that venerable giant panda matriarch Mei Xiang is pregnant and could give birth this week. It’s a welcome bit of good news amid a pandemic that kept the zoo shuttered for months.

“We need this! We totally need this joy,” said zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson. “We are all in desperate need of these feel-goods.” Although so-called “phantom pregnancies” are common with pandas and other large bears, Baker-Masson said an ultrasound scan revealed a “really strong-looking, fantastic fetus” that could be delivered this week.

More details on Friday’s Borneo Bulletin