Mei Xiang, the giant Panda might be pregnant according to Zoo officials.
The Smithsonian National Zoological Park has partially closed the Family Giant Panda Habitat in order to keep a quiet area around Mei Xiang's den.
Although keepers are not able to confirm if she is pregnant, Mei Xiang is exhibiting expected, normal behaviors after the secondary hormone rise that are in line with both a pregnancy and pseudo, or false, pregnancy. She is building a nest in her den, has a decreased appetite, is sleeping more and is reacting to loud noises. Paws-crossed!
Pandas, like several other species, can undergo pseudopregnancies, where they do everything they would if they were pregnant. At the end of a pseudopregnancy, however, hormone levels return to baseline and females' energy levels and behavior return to normal.
The closure will not affect the outdoor habitats and viewing areas.