MEXICO CITY — A panda cub that was rejected by its mother in favor of its younger twin died Thursday in the Chapultepec Zoo despite a four-day effort to save its life.
"If it was with pride that I announced the birth of the pandas in this zoo on Monday; now it is with sadness that I inform you that Ping-Ping has died," zoo director Maria Elena Hoyo told reporters through tears at a news conference in Mexico City.
The panda cub, whose name in Chinese means "peace," was abandoned Monday shortly after birth when its mother chose to protect her stronger twin.
According to zoo veterinarians, pandas tend only one infant, apparently because of the physical demands required in raising a cub.
Zoo officials immediately placed Ping-Ping in a specially built incubator in the zoo's hospital and began feeding it a diet based on dog's milk. A team of six veterinarians worked around the clock tending to the rare cub, which finally died of heart and lung failure, Hoyo said.