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National Zoo On Panda Watch

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Mei Xiang. (Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Mei Xiang. (Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — UPDATE: Mei Xiang is in labor. The panda’s water broke and she is starting to have contractions. National Zoo officials say she could give birth in the next few hours.

See the Smithsonian’s Panda Cam live feed here.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo has been on 24-hours-a-day panda watch as a female giant panda shows behavioral changes consistent with a pregnancy or pseudopregnancy.

Officials said that volunteer behavior watchers have been monitoring Mei Xiang via panda cams all day and night since Aug. 7. Keepers say Mei Xiang is very lethargic, eating less and shredding bamboo for her nest.

RELATED: Scientists Artificially Inseminate Mei Xiang

Zoo officials say the panda sometimes cradles and grooms her toys.

Keepers say the behaviors have been seen every year during this time.

Veterinarians have tried, but failed, to perform ultrasounds.

See the Smithsonian’s Panda Cam live feed here.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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