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Berlin zoo confirms panda pregnancy with ultrasound footage

Six-year-old Meng Meng is expected to give birth soon.

Meng Meng eats bamboo (Michael Sohn/AP)
Meng Meng eats bamboo (Michael Sohn/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Berlin’s zoo has released a few seconds of footage from an ultrasound scan of its six-year-old panda Meng Meng, confirming a pregnancy.

It said the footage shows “a mini-panda with its heart beating fast”, adding the birth is not far off, but without specifying when.

Meng Meng mated for the first time with nine-year-old partner Jiao Qing in April, and was also artificially inseminated to increase the likelihood of pregnancy.

Experts working with the zoo said in mid-August that they were about 85% sure Meng Meng was expecting.

Panda pregnancies typically last four to six months.

The zoo said keepers used a few pieces of apple, panda biscuits and honey water to persuade Meng Meng to lie on her back for a few minutes on Tuesday for the scan.

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Meng Meng (Michael Sohn/AP)

It said that pandas typically deliver one, two or occasionally even three cubs, and although only one was discovered during the scan it is still possible that there are more.

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing arrived from China in June 2017.

PA

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