Smithsonian's National Zoo completes 2 artificial inseminations of giant panda Mei Xiang

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WASHINGTON — Scientists at the National Zoo have artificially inseminated female giant panda Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) in an attempt to breed her with a panda in China.

The zoo said Monday that a team of reproductive scientists performed two artificial inseminations. The first one was completed Sunday, and the second procedure was done Monday morning.

For the first time, scientists used semen from a panda living in China named Hui Hui (h-WEI h-WEI). Experts determined they would be a strong genetic match. Hui Hui has not sired any cubs.

Scientists also used semen from the National Zoo's male panda Tian Tian (t-YEN t-YEN). But a cub from Tian Tian would not be as genetically valuable.

If Mei Xiang gives birth, scientists will use DNA testing to determine which male is the father.

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