Taiwan panda cub spends first night with mother

August 15, 2013
Undated photo provided by the Taipei City Zoo on August 11, 2013 shows a new-born panda cub at the zoo. The cub stayed overnight for the first time with her doting mother, zoo-keepers said Thursday.

Taiwan's first new-born panda stayed overnight for the first time with her doting mother, zoo-keepers said Thursday, following a heartwarming reunion that took place in the international limelight.

Zoo-keepers in Taipei had to separate tiny Yuan Zai from her mother, Yuan Yuan, last month because the needed care and round-the-clock monitoring in an after she was slightly hurt days after being born.

The first-time mother accidentally injured the cub's leg, zoo-keepers said.

The weeks-old female cub was put inside Yuan Yuan's enclosure Tuesday where the mother gently picked her up, embraced and breastfed her in a touching scene of animal affection.

Encouraged by the smooth development, keepers decided to let the mother herself take care of the cub overnight—from late Wednesday night until early Thursday morning.

"We hope they can gradually get used to each other," a spokesman for the Taipei city zoo told reporters.

"It seemed that everything was fine."

The cub, the first panda born in Taiwan, was delivered on July 7 following a series of sessions after her parents—Yuan Yuan and her partner Tuan Tuan—failed to conceive naturally.

Undated photo released by the Taipei City Zoo on August 13, 2013 shows giant panda Yuan Yuan hugging her baby Yuan Zai. The weeks-old female cub was put inside Yuan Yuan's enclosure Tuesday where the mother gently picked her up, embraced and breastfed her.

The birth of Yuan Zai, which means "child of Yuan Yuan", sparked great joy in Taiwan with local media carrying daily reports and photos on her growth.

The public will have to wait for at least another two months to see her.

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan were given to Taiwan by China in December 2008 and have become star attractions at Taipei Zoo as well as a symbol of the fast improving ties between Taiwan and its former bitter rival China.

Taiwan will be allowed to keep the cub because the panda couple were a gift from China rather than a loan, Taipei officials have said.

Fewer than 1,600 remain in the wild, mainly in China's Sichuan province, with a further 300 in captivity around the world. cty/pst

Explore further: China sends panda expert to Taiwan to aid breeding

Related Stories

Giant panda gives birth to twins in China

June 24, 2013

A rare giant panda has given birth to twins in China, the first pair of the endangered species born in the world this year, conservation workers told state media Sunday.

Panda cub, mother reunited at Taiwan zoo

August 13, 2013

Taiwan's first newborn panda was reunited Tuesday with its mother for the first time since it was taken away after birth, in a heartwarming reunion that saw the giant panda licking and cuddling her baby inside a cage.

Recommended for you

Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'

November 25, 2015

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their ...

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel

November 25, 2015

Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

Insect DNA extracted, sequenced from black widow spider web

November 25, 2015

Scientists extracted DNA from spider webs to identify the web's spider architect and the prey that crossed it, according to this proof-of-concept study published November 25, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Charles ...

How cells in the developing ear 'practice' hearing

November 25, 2015

Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have figured out the molecular ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.