Update, 2:34 p.m: Zoo officials have provided more information about the panda’s death, including when it made its last noises and the future of the panda program at the zoo.

The panda cub born last week at the National Zoo died this morning at less than seven days old, according to a press release from the zoo.

According to the zoo, panda mother Mei Xiang began making distress noises around 9:17 a.m. this morning. Veterinarians were able to reach the cub about an hour later, but it did not respond to CPR.

The press release doesn’t list a cause of death for the panda, which was born last Sunday night. According to veterinarians, the panda’s body showed no evidence of injury or infection.

We’ll have more details about the panda’s death after a zoo press conference at 1 p.m. this afternoon.

Full National Zoo press release after the jump


The Smithsonian’s National Zoo community mourns the loss of the giant panda cub born Sunday, Sept. 16. Panda keepers and volunteers heard a distress vocalization from the mother, Mei Xiang, at 9:17 a.m. and notified the veterinarian staff immediately. The panda cam was turned off and the staff were able to safely retrieve the cub for an evaluation at 10:22 a.m. Veterinarians immediately performed CPR and other life-saving measures but the cub did not respond.

Mei Xiang is under close observation.

Veterinarians’ first observations include:

· The cub was in good body condition and weighed just under 100g

· No outward sign of trauma

· No outward sign of infection

Photo via Flickr user hinnosaar used under a Creative Commons license