National Zoo Mourns The Loss of Its Surprise Panda Cub

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 25 2012 9:42 AM

"We Were Living The Promise ... of All These Years To Come"

Tian Tian, the male giant panda at the National Zoo, moves around in his outdoor enclosure on Monday, the day after the death of a six-day-old panda cub

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The Washington Post has a rather heartbreaking look at how the National Zoo community is holding up in the wake of the unexpected death of its six-day-old giant panda cub on Sunday.

Here's a snippet:

People hugged and wept. And for a few moments Sunday morning in the quiet of the panda house, the animal’s body, outwardly perfect, was left on the blanket so the staff could grieve. ...
"We were living the promise," Brandie Smith, panda curator, said at the zoo, her eyes filling with tears. "The promise of all these years to come, and how amazing it was going to be. ... Part of it is . . . the loss of this animal, but it’s also the loss of all that wonder that we were about to be a part of," she said. "How much fun we were all going to have."

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge


The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Sept. 16 2014 4:09 PM It’s All Connected What links creativity, conspiracy theories, and delusions? A phenomenon called apophenia.
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.