Panda Cub Had Liver Abnormalities

Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, eats breakfast. Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub, which has since passed away.

Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, eats breakfast. Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub, which has since passed away.

Associated Press + More

BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — National Zoo officials say the 6-day-old panda cub that died had abnormalities on its liver and fluid in its abdomen, but they don't yet know the cause of death.
Officials say they believe the cub was female, although they're not completely sure.

[READ: Will the National Zoo's Panda Cub Die?]
They expect to know more once a necropsy is completed within two weeks.

Zoo officials said the 4-ounce cub showed no obvious signs of distress before making its final recorded noise Sunday morning. The cub's mother, Mei Xiang (may shahng), made an unusual honking sound that her keepers interpreted as a distress call.
Zoo officials say Mei Xiang has begun to eat again and has come out of her den. They say she's cradling a plastic toy at night in what may be a display of maternal instinct.