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 Local Sports

WWU hosts SFU in regular-season finale

WWU women pose with fans following a win over Central Washington

WWU women vs. Simon Fraser University at 6:35pm on AM930 KBAI.

in Sports

Thunder’s Russell Westbrook has surgery on cheekbone

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook smiles as he answers a question during a news conference during media day for the NBA basketball team in Oklahoma City, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013.

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had surgery to repair a fracture to his right cheek after getting hit by a teammate's knee.

in Sports

Knicks say former player Anthony Mason has died

nba-logo-on-basketball

The New York Knicks say Anthony Mason, a rugged power forward who was a defensive force for several NBA teams in the 1990s, has died. He was 48.

in Local Sports

M’s Ackley welcomed son early on way to spring training

seattle mariners mlb dustin ackley

Dustin Ackley and his 7-months-pregnant wife were about an hour from stop No. 2 in their cross-country trek from Michigan to Arizona for the start of spring training when her water broke outside Oklahoma City.

in Local Sports

Saturday’s prep basketball scoreboard

Updated
prep hoops basketball

All the scores from Saturday's Regional round action.