Tuesday 14 July 2020

After four months of waiting, a baby panda is born at Dutch zoo

Photo: Ouwehands Dierenpark

The giant pandas at the Ouwehands Dierenpark have produced a baby, zoo officials said on Saturday.

The baby panda was born on Friday, just over four months since the pandas are known to have mated. Despite the size of their parents, baby pandas are tiny and blind and weigh only a few hundred grams.

‘Wu Wen was spending more and more time in her nest,’ the zoo said. On Friday morning, she withdrew and started make noises and ‘at 1.30 there was the first cry and the baby was born.’

Zoo keepers will now leave Wu Wen and her offspring alone but once the baby leaves the nest they will be able to determine what sex it is. Then it will be given a name. In the meantime they will monitor its development via webcams.

Zoo officials had been doing their best to encouraging Xing Ya and Wu Wen, now both six years old, to mate since they arrived at the specially-built enclosure in May 2017.

Ouwehands Dierenpark zoo in Rhenen spent 16 year campaigning to bring pandas to the Netherlands and invested €7m on a special compound to house them.

Wu Wen en Xing Ya were loaned to the zoo to participate in a breeding programme and will be staying until 2023. Their offspring will remain for four years before returning to China to take part in a captive breeding programme. Only an estimated 1,864 giant pandas are left in the wild.

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