What's new in the zoo? We have a baby panda! - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-23-2007, 11:37 AM   #1
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What's new in the zoo? We have a baby panda!

Berlin zoo might have Knut, Vienna zoo has a new-born baby panda, which is very rare. It's still unnamed and very naked. It's the first panda baby in an European zoo that was conceived the "natural way", most female pandas are only able to conceive with artificial insemination, since they are only ready for conception for about 2 - 4 days a year!

Anyway, here are the first photos made on the day of the little one's birth, August, 23. Here it still looks like a little rat:



Here's the mother Yang Yang shortly after the birth carrying the baby around in her mouth, she's still inside the cave where she gave birth:



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Old 08-23-2007, 11:38 AM   #2
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The two pandas came to Vienna in 2003, it's a real sensation that they have had a baby.

That's what they like to do: Playing, eating bamboo, being lazy:



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Old 08-23-2007, 11:42 AM   #3
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The baby is only about 10 cm long and has the weight of a small chocolate bar. It's totally naked now and is being hidden from the nosy public by the mother for the first few weeks. I cannot wait to see how it grows, becomes furry and someday looks like this:





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Old 08-23-2007, 12:25 PM   #4
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The interest in Knut has, predictably, become very low, so good on you for your new sensation.
Pandas deserve it.
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:29 PM   #5
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They are such beautiful animals, I'm really happy to hear that there is one more in the world.
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:46 PM   #6
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I love Panda bears they are so cute
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:55 PM   #7
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Here's the actual story ...



Panda Gives Surprise Birth in Austria
By VERONIKA OLEKSYN, Associated Press Writer
2 hours ago

VIENNA, Austria - A giant panda on loan from China gave her Austrian zookeepers a surprise Thursday: the first panda cub born in Europe in 25 years.

Caretakers at the Schoenbrunn Zoo detected the cub on a surveillance camera after hearing little squeals coming from an enclosed compound where the mother, Yang Yang, had retreated. Zookeepers had not been certain Yang Yang was pregnant.

A photograph released by the zoo showed Yang Yang, a first-time mother, holding the tiny creature in her mouth and looking up toward the camera.

Zookeepers estimated the cub weighs 3.5 ounces and measures 3.9 inches.

"'Yang Yang' means sunshine, and that's what she is," zoo director Dagmar Schratter told reporters with a broad smile outside the panda enclosure.

The last time pandas were born in Europe was in Madrid in 1982, the zoo said on its Web site. A panda gave birth to twin cubs through artificial insemination.

Mother and cub will remain in the enclosed area for the next two to three months. The cub, whose name will be picked by the Chinese, will likely start crawling in about four months and will probably make its public debut around that time, Schratter said.

The cub was born 127 days after Yang Yang mated with the male panda Long Hui, the zoo said. The two pandas are in Austria on loan from China.

Schratter said an Aug. 6 ultrasound had not shown any signs of the pregnancy but caretakers became suspicious a few days ago when 7-year-old Yang Yang started taking material into the area where she delivered her cub Thursday. She had done so before, however, without giving birth.

Schratter said the pregnancy occurred naturally. Female pandas often are artificially inseminated after they mate to raise the chances of a pregnancy, said Regina Pfistermueller, a zoologist who co-wrote a book about pandas with Schratter.

"We decided to pass on that step," Pfistermueller said.

Cubs are vulnerable at birth, with about a 60 percent survival rate in the first year, Schratter said. She noted it was a good sign that Yang Yang had accepted her offspring, but the zoo had an incubator and artificial milk ready just in case.

Pfistermueller said animals in zoos occasionally reject their young, leaving it up to staff to raise them. That fate was met by Knut, the polar bear cub being raised by zookeepers in Germany.

"This is a good omen, also for the Olympic Games 2008," said Lu Yonghua, China's ambassador to Austria, who went to the zoo to offer his congratulations. Beijing will host next year's Summer Games.

Approximately 1,600 giant pandas live in the wild, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature.

The species' future remains uncertain because its forest habitat in the mountainous areas of southwest China is fragmented and small populations live isolated from each other, the WWF fund's Web site says. Poaching also remains a threat.
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Old 08-23-2007, 04:06 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot, MsMofoGone!

It's strange that no one really knew for sure if she was pregnant, what a surprise!

I hope the little panda makes it through and stays healthy.
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Old 08-23-2007, 04:53 PM   #9
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How precious

I saw the pandas at the Memphis Zoo last year- one was pregnant a few months ago but she had a miscarriage.

All they did was sit around and eat bamboo but I still couldn't stop looking at them and went back to spend more time there before I left the zoo.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:01 PM   #10
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Awww they are adorable!!
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by last unicorn
Thanks a lot, MsMofoGone!
You're quite welcome, last unicorn !!
Thanks for starting the thread too. Those pics are absolutely beautiful.

Quote:
Originally posted by last unicorn
I hope the little panda makes it through and stays healthy.
Agreed ... it's also good to know that the zookeepers were ready ... just in case, they needed that incubator or milk.

Hopefully, it will all be alright because the mother accepted her offspring.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:28 PM   #12
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One of the San Diego Zoo's pandas gave birth to a naturally conceived cub a few weeks ago; they currently have a 'Panda Cam' set up in the den, and if you're lucky you might catch a glimpse of the cub. There was a documentary aired here in the US about a year ago on captive breeding programs at the Wolong Center in China (the source for most of the world's zoo panda breeding pairs), and one of their biologists said that in his opinion, a major reason why captive male pandas so often seem sexually inhibited and unable to "follow through," even when their partners are in heat, is because zoo panda pairs tend to be raised together in close quarters, playing together daily etc.--which is completely unnatural for them--and thus they come to see each other somewhat like 'family,' which may inhibit the males' response to what should otherwise be the irresistible stimulus of a female in heat. Looks like it worked out well for Yang Yang and Long Hui though.

I'm surprised the keepers were handling the cub already--normally they don't go anywhere near them for the first few weeks. Also I thought they were usually completely hairless at birth...are you sure that first pic is of this cub?
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:46 PM   #13
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what a cute baby

Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
I saw the pandas at the Memphis Zoo last year- one was pregnant a few months ago but she had a miscarriage.
yeah, i usually see the pandas here about once a year, and i was sad to hear she'd miscarried
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
One of the San Diego Zoo's pandas gave birth to a naturally conceived cub a few weeks ago; they currently have a 'Panda Cam' set up in the den, and if you're lucky you might catch a glimpse of the cub. There was a documentary aired here in the US about a year ago on captive breeding programs at the Wolong Center in China (the source for most of the world's zoo panda breeding pairs), and one of their biologists said that in his opinion, a major reason why captive male pandas so often seem sexually inhibited and unable to "follow through," even when their partners are in heat, is because zoo panda pairs tend to be raised together in close quarters, playing together daily etc.--which is completely unnatural for them--and thus they come to see each other somewhat like 'family,' which may inhibit the males' response to what should otherwise be the irresistible stimulus of a female in heat. Looks like it worked out well for Yang Yang and Long Hui though.

I'm surprised the keepers were handling the cub already--normally they don't go anywhere near them for the first few weeks. Also I thought they were usually completely hairless at birth...are you sure that first pic is of this cub?
You're right, there is a camera in the den to watch the baby.

I'm not sure the first picture is of this actual panda baby, it's what was on the zoo's website and published in our national media, so maybe it's just a photo of how a panda baby looks at birth, still very tiny though. I'm not sure that's really hair, might be some kind of fluff they have at birth.
But the two pictures of the panda mother holding her baby in the mouth are definitely from the day of its birth, because they were obviously made by the "surveillance" camera in the den.
Makes sense that she wouldn't allow anyone to handle the baby at such an early stage.

Good to hear about the San Diego zoo!
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:21 AM   #15
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Last unicorn, What a great post. The photos are precious. Great info, too. My daughters' favorite animal is the panda. She collects all things panda. They are a unique and beautiful animal.

VincentVega-
We also love Knut- and kept up with the news about him. I guess those sick naturists gave up the fight to leave him alone and let "nature" take its' course, rather than have him rescued and taken care of. How is he doing, we don't see any updates about him...
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