Chinese giant panda gives birth in Singapore on seventh attempt

Reuters

Posted at Aug 17 2021 07:48 AM

Giant panda Jia Jia holds her newly born cub at River Safari in Singapore August 14, 2021. Wildlife Reserves Singapore handout via Reuters
Giant panda Jia Jia holds her newly born cub at River Safari in Singapore August 14, 2021. Wildlife Reserves Singapore handout via Reuters

SINGAPORE—A Chinese giant panda at a Singapore wildlife park has given birth to a cub, the first born in the Southeast Asian country and a rare event for an endangered species.

Pandas Kai Kai, 13, and Jia Jia, 12, entered their seventh breeding season in April this year with the aid of artificial insemination, after arriving in Singapore in 2012 on a decade-long loan from China.

Weighing about 200 gram, the cub was born on Saturday but the gender has yet to be determined, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) told Reuters, adding mother and cub were doing well. 

WRS said female giant pandas can display hormonal and behavioral signs of pregnancy even when not pregnant, but the organization detected signs last month that a cub was on the way and the pregnancy was confirmed on August 10.

"Our vet picked up on ultrasound, not only a clear outline of a fetus but one with a strong heartbeat," WRS said.

The newborn will appear in public in about three months.

Giant pandas loaned to France have also given birth to cubs this year.

China has been sending its black and white ambassadors abroad in a sign of goodwill since the 1950s as part of what is known as "panda diplomacy". (Reporting by Chen Lin; Editing by Martin Petty) 

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