Nightly News | September 24, 2012
>>> finally tonight, washington, d.c. was a very sad place this weekend, with a lot of sad children all of whom had been so excited, along with their parents, at the birth of the new panda cub at the national six days. doctors say it died of a liver disorder, and for that entire species, survival is difficult, even when helped along by the rest of the experts in the world. our report by chief correspondent ann thompson.
>> reporter: this is the face that has stolen thousands of hearts. the now two-month-old panda born at the san diego zoo .
>> they're so cute when they were little babies .
>> reporter: when first born, pandas are pink, hairless and the size of a stick of butter, with the morality rate high in captivity, this is a miracle.
>> they're an endangered species , so having this for the wild population.
>> reporter: the panda numbers are threatened because the bamboo forests where they live and eat are being cut down for farming and development. today, only 1600 giant pandas live in the wild in southern china , with 300 in captivity, including those outside of mainland china .
>> pandas are amazing creatures.
>> reporter: they have driven chinese scientists to extreme, donning panda suits to introduce them to the wild, showing tapes of others mating. even turning to blue pills to help them with what should come naturally. why do they have trouble mating? first, they are solitary creatures, living only in the wild, and female are only able to get pregnant for a short time. these two at the zoo in atlanta have produced three cubs.
>> we always give them a chance to mate first, and if that is not successful, we follow up with the artificial insemination.
>> reporter: using this to help the creatures that have a hold on our heart. ann thompson, nbc news, new york.