Ja­pan panda fans get lat­est fix of cute with new footage

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Ja­pan’s panda-ob­sessed pub­lic got their lat­est fix of cute yes­ter­day as a Tokyo zoo re­leased footage of its 20day-old help­less cub, who has bal­looned in size since its birth last month. The tiny panda, still with­out a name, was the first to be born at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo in five years to the de­light of an­i­mal lovers and lo­cal busi­nesses, spark­ing ‘panda fever’ in the cap­i­tal. Dis­tinc­tively pink and hair­less, the an­i­mals typ­i­cally weigh around 100 grams at births­mall enough to fit in the palm of a hu­man hand.

It can be dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mine their sex but the zoo con­firmed last month that the new­born was a girl based on pic­tures sent to a re­search cen­tre in the shy an­i­mal’s na­tive China. At two days old, she weighed just 147 grams and mea­sured 14.3 cen­time­ters in length, but zoo of­fi­cials have since said she is grow­ing well. Footage shows the cub rest­ing com­fort­ably on a blan­ket Sun­day as care­tak­ers con­ducted a reg­u­lar health check, with the cub now weigh­ing in at 607.9 grams and mea­sur­ing 23.4 cen­time­ters.

The tiny baby also looks in­creas­ingly more panda-like, with the trade­mark black color around her eyes, ears and feet be­com­ing clearer. Her eyes re­main closed as it usu­ally takes about 40 days be­fore panda cubs start see­ing things, the zoo said. In an­other shot, mum Shin Shin, who just turned 12 on Mon­day, is seen ten­derly hold­ing the baby in her right arm. Con­sid­ered an en­dan­gered species, it is es­ti­mated that fewer than 2,000 gi­ant pan­das re­main in the wild, in three prov­inces in south-cen­tral China. Shin Shin, who mated with male Ri Ri in Fe­bru­ary, had given birth to an­other cub in 2012 — the first time at the zoo in 24 years­but the baby died from pneu­mo­nia just six days later.—AFP

TOKYO: This handout photo shows the 19-day-old fe­male panda cub of gi­ant panda Shin Shin at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo.—AFP

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