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Panda Baby Watch — Who’s the Daddy?

CBS DC

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — It’s a matter of practicality, not promiscuity.

If the latest efforts to get the National Zoo’s giant panda Mei Xiang to produce a cub are successful, it won’t be immediately clear who the father is.

Ever since scientists detected a rise in the bear’s urinary estrogens on March 26, the National Zoo has been abuzz with talk of another baby for the 14-year-old.

Mei Xiang gave birth to her first cub, Tai Shan, in 2005. Sadly, her second offspring only survived one week after it was born last September. Both babies were fathered by the National Zoo’s male giant panda, Tian Tian.

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On March 30, while under general anesthesia, Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated twice as part of the zoo’s attempts to produce another panda cub. Once with with a combination of fresh and frozen semen…

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Washington, D.C. – National Zoo and Georgetown Neighborhood

Travels With Curley

It looks like we timed our trip well this past weekend in terms of Declan’s seemingly endless ear infections.  We had another rough transition back to work and school after our weekend in D.C., which is the reason for the delayed post.  In hindsight, I think the rough transition started on the ride home from D.C., which included some killer traffic (mostly getting out of the city) and Finnegan vomiting about 10 miles from home.  Declan didn’t sleep at all on Sunday night and had a fever of 104°C on Monday.  It looks like this boy is heading for a second set of ear tubes at a hospital near us soon.

You will probably think I’m a liar after everything I just said, but we had a great time in D.C.  In fact, we would love to go back soon because we didn’t fit in everything we wanted to do…

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National Zoo Wants Facebook Fans to Name Sloth Cub

CBS DC

LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — The National Zoo is inviting its Facebook fans to name the male sloth cub that was born there in December.

Voting will close at noon on May 3. The Zoo will announce the winning name on Facebook shortly thereafter.

Names in the running are:
— Ravi, which means “sun” in Hindi. This potential name was chosen cub was born just in time for the winter solstice.
— Bandar, a Hindi word meaning “monkey,” because the cub has already proven himself to be very independent and active, balancing on top of wobbly enrichment toys and climbing the mesh in his enclosure.
— Hank, an amalgamation of the cub’s parents’ names. His mother is named Hana, and his father is called Frank, short for Francois.

The public has been able to watch the sloth family on the Zoo’s web cam, but they will make their live public…

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Lonely Elephant to Join Herd at National Zoo in DC

CBS DC

WASHINGTON — An elephant with a talent for painting will be joining the herd at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo after her companion died at the Baton Rouge Zoo in Louisiana, the two zoos announced Friday.

Bozie, a 37-year-old Asian elephant, will join three others in Washington. In March, a 46-year-old elephant named Judy died in Baton Rouge, leaving Bozie alone. Elephants are a herd species, so zoo officials say they don’t want to leave one alone.

In the past, the Baton Rouge Zoo has auctioned off one of Bozie’s paintings to raise money for tsunami relief in Sri Lanka. She was born there around June 1975 and came to the United States in 1976.

The National Zoo recently opened a larger elephant facility after a $56 million overhaul, including a walking trail. The expansion more than tripled the elephants’ living space. The zoo plans to triple the size of its…

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Sunday Funday at the National Zoo

Where Erin Goes

Spring in Washington, D.C., is the best time of year for Sunday strolls. The air is cool in the morning but warms to a comfortable temperature between the upper 60s and low 70s, and unlike D.C. summers, the humidity is held at bay. Everything is new again — flowers bloom and trees turn into green canopies of shade. On this Sunday Funday, the National Zoo provided a pleasant backdrop for a blossoming friendship, too.

Brunch in Cleveland Park

There are quite a few dining options near the zoo. We drove past Open City, which appeared to be packed with a crowd waiting outside. We checked Ardeo + Bardeo, which is on my D.C. Bucket List, but the menu posted outside the restaurant and wine bar seemed a bit limited. There were several other bars and restaurants along the same block set to open at 11 or 11:30…

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