Zoo Atlanta officials announced Tuesday that the 15-year-old giant panda is expecting her fourth cub in two to three weeks. The newborn would be the first giant panda born in the United States in 2013.
Lun Lun was artificially inseminated in March. Yang Yang, 15, is the cub’s father. He has fathered Lun Lun’s other three cubs.
Zoo Atlanta President and CEO Raymond B. King said Lun Lun’s impending birth could be “another success” for the zoo’s giant panda program.
“We’re thrilled about the possibility of a fourth club for Lun Lun, but we remain cautiously optimistic at this point,” he said. “Giant panda cubs are extremely fragile, and the chance remains that the fetus does not go to term.”
Both Lun Lun and Yang Yang were born at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China in 1997. The pair, who have been under constant study since birth, were brought to Zoo Atlanta in November 1999.
The couple gave birth to their first cub, Mei Lan, eight years later in 2007. Mei Lan, a 6-year-old male panda, has two brothers: Xi Lan, 4 and Po, 2.
The three were the only giant pandas born in their birth years, according to Zoo Atlanta.
The family of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has served notice to Gov. Nathan Deal that it wants input into any monument to the slain civil rights leader erected on state Capitol grounds – if the state expects free use of King’s copyrighted likeness.