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

in Black Friday, Entertainment, National

Obama pardons ‘Cheese,’ America’s top turkey

turkeypardon

The President pardoned the official Thanksgiving turkey in a tradition that is truly American.

in Sports

Source: Redskins to start Colt McCoy over RG3

rg3

The Washington Redskins plan to start Colt McCoy over Robert Griffin III on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

in National

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg has heart procedure

ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent a heart procedure after reporting discomfort following routine exercise.

in National

Storm threatens to foil Thanksgiving travel for millions

AP672980729096

A nor'easter packing rain and snow is posing special challenges and threatening to cancel flights across the country. a

in National

Judges overturn gay marriage bans in Arkansas, Mississippi

gaymarriage

U.S. judges overturned measures that voters approved a decade ago in both socially conservative Southern states.