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.

Latest Headlines

in Local

Portland Jetport Security Finds Gun in Luggage

handgun

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Transportation Security Administration officials say they found a handgun in a passenger's carry-on luggage at Portland International Jetport.

in Local

Man Guilty of Transporting Women for Prostitution

GENERIC COURT LARGE

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ A Boston man has been found guilty in a Maine court of transporting women for prostitution.

in Local

17-Year-Old Sentenced in Manslaughter Case

GENERIC HANDCUFFS

ELLSWORTH, Maine (AP) _ A 17-year-old girl will spend 10 days in a juvenile corrections center as punishment for causing a crash that killed another teenager in Bucksport in October.

in Local

Maine Town and Resident Clash over Critical Signs

Newsradio WGAN

NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine (AP) _ A Maine town and long-time local government critic are clashing over whether the town can use a zoning ordinance to force the man to remove political signs from his front lawn.

in Local

Maine to Manage Growing Black Sea Bass Fishery

Newsradio WGAN

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Maine fishery officials are proposing regulations to manage black sea bass, a species that is increasing in abundance in the state's waters.