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Tokyo - A baby giant panda bear was born at a Tokyo zoo on Thursday, in a rare success for Japan’s captive breeding programme, a zoo official said.
The as-yet unnamed infant was Ueno Zoo’s first baby panda for 24 years, and its first ever from a natural sexual congress, the official said.
“The baby was born around noon today (Thursday), but we have no further details as our keepers are taking care of the pandas,” she added.
The zoo had suspended public viewing of the “possibly pregnant” giant panda Shin Shin on Saturday after keepers noticed she had become nervous about noise and light.
Shin Shin and her mate, Ri Ri, were confirmed to have mated twice in late March, and the female panda’s condition, including her hormone level and a loss of appetite, had suggested she was pregnant.
In Japan, a total of 16 giant pandas have been born, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported. – Sapa-AFP