28 May 2009

Panda population increases by one

Reported in Bangkok Post

Zoo staff grin and bear it

Published: 28/05/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: News

Seven-year-old panda Lin Hui has delighted staff at Chiang Mai Zoo by giving birth to a cub following artificial insemination.

Veterinarians at Chiang Mai Zoo examine the latest addition to the zoo family, a panda cub. The cub's mother Lin Hui gave birth on Wednesday, three months after receiving artificial insemination. Photo courtesy of ASTV MANAGER

Zoological Park Organisation director-general Sophon Damnui said the zoo's veterinary staff were delighted at the birth of the cub on Wednesday. "We are thrilled at the success," he said.

It is the first successful artificial insemination of a panda by a Thai veterinarian team.

Mr Sophon said the gender of the newborn was being confirmed. The cub weighed 200 grammes.

He said veterinary staff were concerned if Lin Hui could raise the cub as it was her first.

A team of Chinese panda experts will arrive in Thailand today and give advice to staff about raising the cub.

"We have to let her take care of the cub. Then we will find a way to separate the cub and raise it in a nursery," Mr Sophon said.

Lin Hui produced her first cub at 10.39am Wednesday - three months after being artificially inseminated - under close observation of the zoo's veterinary staff.

It was the second artificial insemination attempt on the panda who is on a 10-year loan from China along with her male mate Xuang Xuang.

Lin Hui was first artificially inseminated in April 2007 but failed to become pregnant.

The artificial insemination came after other methods - including showing the animals films of other pandas mating to get them in the mood - failed.

Under the loan programme, Lin Hui and Xuang Xuang will be returned to China in 2013.

Some vision from Associated Press

There are only some 1600 pandas believed to be in the wild - last counted in 2004, but population growth isn't high in the species. 180 are raised in captivity.

The birth of a panda is a big deal.

I can't wait for Adelaide Zoo to get their pair later in September this year. The last time pandas lived in Australia was in 1988 when two were on loan for three months in Melbourne and Sydney. Millions of Australians visited them at the time.


Bogdan's Person Again said...

Pandas! I love animals that are black and white...so much so that I brought two home to look at all day long.

On said...

wow tooooooooo cute!!! I would like to take a look of the Pandas as well.

I love Panda... and just bought a Panda Bag from the following Blogshop:

Nice to meet you.