A rare sight is occurring in Vienna’s zoo. A panda cub was born in captivity, which makes the zoo unique in Europe.
Because pandas are shy mammals, it’s very hard to get them to mate. Many zoos use artificial insemination instead.
Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Zoo is the perfect setting for panda love, in the sophisticated gardens of a former imperial residence.
The zoo has released video material of the small newborn and its mother Yang Yang who has previously given birth to three other cubs. Those three cubs are in China now.
The latest delivery took place on Sunday, at five a.m. local time. The cub is just four inches in length and weighs just over three ounces. Zookeepers have yet to determine the cub’s gender.
The zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter pointed out that Yang Yang is a skilled mother and she knows how to take care of her offspring. However, mortality rates of giant pandas within the first year of life is around forty percent.
For now, the panda area is closed to make sure the cub gets all the attention it deserves from its mother. The cub hasn’t yet got the black and white fur, and for now, it is pink in color. It was most probably conceived in March when father Long Hui and mother Yang Yang were seen mating.
About 1,864 pandas live in the wild in China. The giant panda is an endangered species, precisely because it is very hard to breed in nature, not to mention captivity.
The giant panda feeds on a diet made predominantly from bamboo. It lives in three main areas of central China and it prefers the mountain climate.
Because of excessive farming, deforestation, and industrial development, the panda species took refuge in the mountain areas, escaping the lowlands where it once lived.
Over the last few years, the panda population has seen an expansion, thanks to modern methods like in-vitro fertilization. The panda population increased by 268 bears since 2006, that’s an increase of nearly seventeen percent.
The giant panda was also one of the five mascots of the Beijing Olympics.
What’s your opinion on this article? Would you visit Austria to sneak a peak at the cub? Please comment, below.
Image Source – Wikipedia