Bai Yun, the adult female panda at the San Diego Zoo, is pregnant -- again.
Ultrasound tests have shown that Bai Yun is carrying one, maybe two, fetuses, zoo officials announced today. The 17-year-old panda has given birth to four cubs since coming to the zoo as part of a scientific exchange with China.
Bai Yun and Gao Gao mated in April, but panda keepers were unable to tell if Bai Yun was pregnant until the ultrasound was taken. Despite years of research, much about the panda reproductive system remains a mystery.
Based on previous pregnancies, keepers expect the birth to occur next month. While Bai Yun may be carrying twins, the odds are against both fetuses surviving. In two of her previous pregnancies, Bai Yun had two fetuses but only one survived.
Bai Yun is off exhibit at the zoo as she begins the "denning" process.
Bai Yun is pregnant, panda keepers announce at San Diego Zoo | L.A. Now | Los Angeles Times