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Panda born at Ueno Zoo

Giant panda Shin Shin appears to cradle her new cub at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo on Thursday afternoon. (Courtesy of Tokyo Zoological Park Society)

Publication Date : 06-07-2012


Giant panda Shin Shin gave birth to a cub at Ueno Zoo on Thursday, the Tokyo metropolitan government announced.

The baby panda's father is Ri Ri, who came to Japan from China with Shin Shin in February 2011.

It was the first baby panda born at Ueno Zoo in 24 years and the fourth overall. This is the first time a baby panda has been born at Ueno Zoo through natural breeding.

Both Shin Shin and the baby panda were said to be in good condition. The baby panda's cries were heard from their cage, the metropolitan government said.

Shin Shin was believed to have given birth at around 12:30pm. She held the baby and showed signs of breastfeeding, according to metropolitan government officials.

The zoo confirmed that Shin Shin mated with Ri Ri in late March.

According to the zoo, Shin Shin lost her appetite on June 7. A blood test conducted June 19 showed higher hormonal levels, a sign of pregnancy.

Shin Shin later began shunning light and noises, and also became reluctant to appear in front of people. The zoo stopped exhibiting Shin Shin last Saturday.

Sixteen baby pandas have been born in Japan, including those at Ueno Zoo and Adventure World in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture.

China owns the newly born panda, so it will be sent to that country two years from now. But Japan has the right to name it in line with an agreement between the two countries.

According to the Tokyo metropolitan government, Japan must obtain consent from the Chinese government before finalising the cub's name.


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