Panda cub born in Taiwan to gifted Chinese pandas

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Proud panda parents Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan at the Taipei Zoo in 2008.

Nine year old giant panda Yuan Yuan has given birth to a cub in a zoo in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday at 8:05pm local time. The female cub was born weighing 6.4 ounces and measuring 6.1 inches. The cub won't be on public display for another three to five months.

The cub, born out of an artificial insemination given in March, is under intensive care for its first week of life. It was the seventh attempt to get the nine-year old Yuan Yuan pregnant in a three year period. Yuan Yuan, and her mate, Tuan Tuan, were a gift from China to Taiwan in December, 2008, as a gesture of goodwill due to historical conflicts between the island of Taiwan and mainland China. The two pandas have failed to mate successfully through natural pregnancy, hence the use of artificial insemination. Yuan Yuan showed signs of pregnancy in early June and towards the end of the month caretakers believed she would soon give birth. Caretakers spent the night at the zoo, keeping a constant watch over Yuan Yuan during her birth.

China usually requests that cubs born in other countries be returned to China for care. China has agreed to allow the newborn cub to remain in Taiwan. Two Chinese panda specialists are at the zoo helping to care for the newborn.