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

today in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: April 18

roseanne

A look back at Hollywood history.

yesterday in Entertainment

REVIEW: Cast keeps ‘Heaven Is for Real’ grounded

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Connor Corum, left, and Greg Kinnear in a scene from "Heaven Is For Real."

Based on the true story described in the best-selling book, the film introduces us to a four year old boy who says he went to heaven.

yesterday in Entertainment

Could we soon see ‘Mrs. Doubtfire 2?’

robinwilliams

This could be the sequel we've been waiting for.

yesterday in Music

Willie Nelson doesn’t get older; he just gets cooler

willienelson

Just days before his 81st birthday, the country star will pick up a fifth-degree black belt.

yesterday in Music

’15 ACM Awards sell out in mere minutes

acm

Next year's Academy of Country Music Awards is already a hit.