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Archive for Friday, August 24, 2007

Panda gives surprise birth to cub in zoo

August 24, 2007

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— A giant panda on loan from China gave her Austrian zookeepers a surprise Thursday: the first panda cub born in Europe in 25 years.

Caretakers at the Schoenbrunn Zoo detected the cub on a surveillance camera after hearing little squeals coming from an enclosed compound where the mother, Yang Yang, had retreated. Zookeepers had not been certain Yang Yang was pregnant.

A photograph released by the zoo showed Yang Yang, a first-time mother, holding the tiny creature in her mouth and looking up toward the camera.

Zookeepers estimated the cub weighs 3.5 ounces and measures 3.9 inches.

Mother and cub will remain in the enclosed area for the next two to three months.

The cub was born 127 days after Yang Yang mated with the male panda Long Hui, the zoo said. The two pandas are in Austria on loan from China.

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