Baby giant panda born in zoo

2012-07-05 13:01
A baby giant panda born recently undergoes a veterinary exam. (David Goldman, AP)

A baby giant panda born recently undergoes a veterinary exam. (David Goldman, AP)

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Tokyo - A baby giant panda was born at a Tokyo zoo on Thursday, in a rare success for Japan's captive breeding programme, a zoo official said.

The as-yet unnamed infant is Ueno Zoo's first baby panda for 24 years, and its first ever from a natural sexual congress, she said.

"The baby was born around noon [12:00] today, but we have no further details as our keepers are taking care of the pandas," she said.

The zoo had suspended public viewing of the "possibly pregnant" giant panda Shin Shin on Saturday after keepers noticed she had became nervous about noise and light.

Shin Shin and her mate Ri Ri were confirmed to have mated twice in late March, and the female panda's condition, including her hormone level and a loss of appetite for about two weeks, had suggested she was pregnant.

The couple was leased from China last year to the zoo operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan government at an annual cost of about $1m.

In Japan, a total of 16 giant pandas have been born, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Read more on:    animals

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