Atlanta zoo welcomes birth of baby giant panda
Lun Lun, a 13-year old giant panda at the Atlanta Zoo, gave birth Wednesday to a cub, the only giant panda born in the United States this year.
The as-yet unnamed the newborn, which was conceived via artificial insemination, is the third to be born to Lun Lun and the cub's father, 13-year-old Yang Yang.
"We are extremely excited about welcoming Lun Lun's and Yang Yang's third cub, and proud of the success of Zoo Atlanta's giant panda program," said Dwight Lawson, deputy director.
"This is a joy we share with the city of Atlanta, our colleagues in China, and our counterparts at our fellow zoological organizations housing giant pandas in the US," he said.
Zoo officials said the newborn, about the size of a cell phone, came into the world at 5:39 am (0939 GMT).
Visitors will be able to view the cub beginning in spring 2011, zoo officials said.
The cub was delivered in a specially-prepared birthing den at the Zoo's giant panda installation.
Caretakers at the zoo were monitoring the mother and cub round-the-clock, and would perform a hands-on veterinary inspection as soon as staff is able to remove the cub without disrupting maternal care.
Fewer than 1,600 giant pandas are estimated to remain in the wild, and some 280 live in zoos around the world, 11 of which reside in the US.
(c) 2010 AFP