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3 young pandas at Atlanta zoo are female, not male

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This photo released by Zoo Atlanta on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 shows twin panda cubs born Monday to the zoo's resident giant panda Lun Lun, the first twin pandas born in the United States since 1987, zoo spokeswoman Keisha Hines announced. (AP Photo/Zoo Atlanta, Adam K. Thompson)

This photo released by Zoo Atlanta on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 shows twin panda cubs born Monday to the zoo’s resident giant panda Lun Lun, the first twin pandas born in the United States since 1987, zoo spokeswoman Keisha Hines announced. (AP Photo/Zoo Atlanta, Adam K. Thompson)

ATLANTA (AP) — Genetic testing has revealed that three young giant pandas born at Atlanta’s zoo that were thought to be males are actually females.

Zoo Atlanta spokeswoman Keisha Hines says an examination that was part of the preparation to send Po to China revealed the 3-year-old panda is female.

Hines says the zoo then decided to do DNA testing on Po and on twin cubs Mei Lun and Mei Huan. That revealed those cubs were also females, rather than males.

This isn’t the first case of mistaken gender for a panda born at Zoo Atlanta. Researchers in China determined in September 2011 that Atlanta-born Mei Lan, who was believed to be female, was actually male.

Hines says gender is difficult to determine in young pandas.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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