WASHINGTON (AP) -- Washington’s National Zoo is set to reveal what caused the death of a 6-day-old giant panda cub.
The zoo will disclose the cause at a news conference Thursday morning.
The cub, believed to be female, was born Sept. 16. Zoo officials and panda fans around the world were devastated by its death less than a week later. The birth was a surprise because it hadn’t been clear whether the mother, 14-year-old Mei Xiang, was still fertile.
Panda cubs are born hairless and helpless, about the size of a stick of butter. The mortality rate for females born in captivity is 20 percent in the first year.
A preliminary necropsy revealed that the cub had liver abnormalities and fluid in its abdomen. Zoo officials will disclose the final results on Thursday.