D.C. Panda Pregnancy Rumors

panda national zoo Mei Xiang eats bamboo 011001
AP
A rare giant panda at the National Zoo named Mei Xiang with increasing hormones levels, has keepers hoping that an artificial insemination back in March was successful. Doctors will have to wait up to 50 days for the cub's birth sure, though.

The National Zoo in Washington won't know for sure until this summer, but officials say their giant panda might be pregnant.

Mei Xiang (may SHAWNG'), who was artificially inseminated in March, is said to have rising hormones -- a possible sign the panda is expecting a baby.

However, she could also be experiencing a "pseudo pregnancy" -- ovulating, but not conceiving. The zoo says that is common in giant pandas, including Mei Xiang.

The pregnancy question won't be answered for another 40 to 50 days. That's when the zoo expects the panda to either give birth to a cub, or the symptoms will stop.

Officials say ultrasound testing has not detected a fetus.