News

Vienna shows off panda cub after rare natural birth

Vienna shows off panda cub after rare natural birth

Vienna's newest panda clung to its mother after a highly rare natural birth. Photo: Reuters

VIENNA (Reuters) – Weighing in at 100 grams (four ounces), pink-skinned and covered in white fur, Vienna’s newest panda clung to its mother after a highly rare natural birth.

Pictures showed the 10-centimetre (4-inch) cub nestled in paw of Giant Panda Yang Yang and being carried in her mouth at the city’s Schoenbrunn zoo.

Staff said it was only the third successful attempt to breed the endangered species naturally in Europe – the other two cubs also came into the world at the Vienna zoo and are now back in their home country China.

Keepers are keeping their distance to avoid disturbing the mother and child, and still haven’t been able to work out its gender.

“Although we are of course very happy, we must remain realistic. The mortality rate for Giant Pandas is around 40 percent during the first year,” said zoo director Dagmar Schratter.

Yang Yang and her baby, who was born on Wednesday, will spend the next few months in the breeding box where the birth took place.

The panda house has been closed to the public until further notice.

Giant pandas are one of the world’s most endangered species. Their natural home lies in a few mountain ranges in central China. There are about 1,600 known to be living in the wild and some 300 in captivity, mostly in China.

Female pandas are able to conceive only for two or three days in the spring, which makes reproduction difficult. The gestation period is about five months.

Most pandas bred in captivity are conceived through artificial insemination.

Recent Headlines

yesterday in Local

Durbin’s War Chest Swelling

durbin

Senator Dick Durbin’s latest campaign report says he’s got more than $6 million in the bank for his re-election bid…

yesterday in Local

Lt. Gov. Pushing for Wider Acceptance of LINK Card

shelia-simon

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is not done trying to get technology to accept Link cards into all of the state's farmers' markets

yesterday in Local

Sherman Plans Road Improvements

road construction

The Village of Sherman has finished studying what roads in town need work, and it's compiled a list available for public inspection.

yesterday in Local

Renewed Push for Chicago Casinos

casino

Proponents say the entire state would benefit

yesterday in Local

State Police Investigating Metro East Trooper

illinois state police

The Illinois State Police is investigating one of their own