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Panda cub born in Japan

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A giant panda cub has been born at a Japanese zoo, the first to be successfully bred in Japan through artificial insemination in two decades, officials said Wednesday. The baby panda, whose sex is not yet known, was born to Dan Dan and her male partner Xing Xing, both 12, on Tuesday at Oji Zoo in Kobe, zoo officials said.

Dan Dan was shown on television licking her new cub, who is 25 centimeters long and weighs 100 grams.

"I feel relieved the baby was born safely," said the head of Oji Zoo, Osamu Ishikawa. "We will monitor them 24 hours a day to check if the mother can take good care of the baby."

Dan Dan became pregnant through artificial insemination with the help of two experts from China's Sichuan province, where the shrinking bamboo forests are the animal's native habitat.

It was the first baby panda born in Japan through artificial insemination since 1988 when one was born at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo, officials said. Others have been conceived naturally since then.

The new arrival will be put on display in about three months, Ishikawa said, adding that the public will be asked to propose names.

Captive giant pandas are known for their low sex drive, which is exacerbating falling numbers as their natural habitat is being encroached on by development.

Artificial insemination has also proved difficult as the female panda is only fertile once a year.

Chinese President Hu Jintao in May offered to lease a pair of pandas to Ueno Zoo after its sole panda, Ling Ling, died in April.

But the offer has been controversial, with the zoo flooded by calls from the public accusing China of trying to cash in on Japanese fondness for the panda.

© Wire reports

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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So where's the picture? Oh that's right Panda's all look the same don't they!

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The BBC has a Video of the Birth. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7585607.stm

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Thanks TheNewZen for the link.

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Yeah, thanks for the link. That little guy just popped right out!

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he's in panda heaven now!

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Panda population up by 1 in japan. Way to go japan.

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