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

4 minutes ago in Music

Housing complex named after Bon Jovi

Fresh
jbj

A housing complex in Pennsylvania now bears rocker Jon Bon Jovi's initials.

1 hour ago in Music

Justin Bieber angers Asian community with visit to Japan shrine

Fresh
Justin Bieber

The Beebs apologizes for a visit to a controversial Tokyo shrine honoring WWII war criminals.

1 hour ago in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Brian Williams raps ‘Gin & Juice’

Fresh
birna

After he leaves the "NBC Nightly News," Brian Williams might have a future in music.

today in Entertainment

‘Ice Road Truckers’ star accused of kidnapping, beating Vegas woman

iceroad

A star of the reality TV show is due in court in Las Vegas to face first degree kidnapping, extortion and coercion charges.

yesterday in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: April 23

elvis2

A look at the Hollywood headlines of years past.