As we reported last week, Mei Xiang ovulated on March 19. She has continued to show estrous behavior, bleating at her keepers and walking backwards with her tail up when she sees Tian Tian through the window that sits between their yards. Tian’s internal scent analysis tells him that her estrogen has waned and she deserves barely a glance. However, he still chooses frequently to rest near her on the other side of the fence line. We will continue to do daily vaginal swabs until her cells return to their normal everyday composition. Externally, her genitals look almost normal again, only the faintest blush of pink remains and the swelling is just about gone. One has to wonder, if in the wild, very young male pandas would gain valuable experience interacting with females in estrus that have been abandoned by bigger and wiser males.
On days like today when I'm a bit overwhelmed, I peek over at the panda-cam at the National Zoo. Today's update read like a medical chart with far too much info than I was prepared to handle. But here's to more baby pandas!