Giant panda at National Zoo artificially inseminated - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Giant panda at National Zoo artificially inseminated

The panda mom at the National Zoo has been artificially inseminated. (Source: WJLA/CNN) The panda mom at the National Zoo has been artificially inseminated. (Source: WJLA/CNN)

WASHINGTON (WJLA/CNN) - The National Zoo announced Friday it is taking proactive steps to increase its panda population.

Smithsonian National Zoo officials say they performed two artificial inseminations on 18-year-old Mei Xiang.

Pierre Comizzoli, a research biologist, says that it is time for the female to conceive. 

"So the clock is ticking so at some point when there is no conclusive really attraction between the male and the female we have to go for an artificial insemination," he said.

Pandas can only get pregnant once a year, and the window is just a few days long.

Comizzoli says it could be several months before they know if the panda is pregnant

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