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

in Sports

Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

Fresh
Tiger Woods answers questions at his news conference during the final practice day for the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in Akron, Ohio.

Woods made six birdies Thursday to open with a 2-under 68 at the Bridgestone Invitational, just four shots behind Marc Leishman.

in National

Divided House abandons vote on border bill

immigration

Congress will take a five-week vacation without addressing the immigration crisis.

in Local Sports

M’s get CF Austin Jackson in 3-way deal with Tigers, Rays

Fresh
Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson watches from the dugout against the Minnesota Twins in first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Saturday, June 14, 2014.

Nick Franklin goes to Tampa in deal that sends David Price to Detroit.

in Local Sports

Lynch ends holdout, arrives at Seahawks camp

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, right, laughs as he stands with Marshawn Lynch at a football minicamp practice Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in Renton, Wash.

Marshawn Lynch has joined Seattle Seahawks training camp after missing the first week.

in Sports

Ravens’ Rice publicly apologizes to wife for domestic violence

rayrice

The running back apologizes to his wife for hitting her, vowing to be an "ambassador against domestic violence."