Panda

It's a Boy! San Diego's Baby Panda Gets His Third Check-up

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Last week, San Diego Zoo examined its five-week-old baby Giant Panda for the third time. Veterinarians determined that the 3.2-pound cub is a boy! He's a bit lighter in weight than mother Bai Yun's previous five cubs, but this baby panda looks healthy with a belly girth of 12 inches, indicating he is eating well. The 13-inch-long cub gained 1 pound from his previous exam a week earlier. San Diego Zoo follows the Chinese cultural tradition of naming Giant Pandas after they are 100 days old. Stay tuned as San Diego Zoo will be announcing details on how the public can help name the new cub. The cub will remain in the den with his mother several months. Watch them live on the zoo's Panda Cam: www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam.

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Photo credit: Ken Bohn / Zoological Society of San Diego 

 


San Diego Zoo Conducts First Exam of Giant Panda Cub

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Photo credit: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo's newest Giant Panda cub received its first veterinary exam this morning.  The quick, 3-minute exam allowed staff just enough time to determine that the cub is healthy, thriving and weighs 1.5 pounds. Vets were able to listen to the cub's heart and lungs - which sounded good - but were not able to determine the sex.

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The paws of this cub might be tiny now, but they will grow into one of the most interesting paws in the animal kingdom. Giant Pandas have a pseudo thumb, which enhances their ability to gather and eat bamboo. No other species of bear (yes, they are definitively bears thanks to molecular testing!) has this distinctive trait.

 

This is the sixth Giant Panda born at the San Diego Zoo, the most born at a breeding facility outside of China. All six Giant Panda births have been to mother Bai Yun. The previous cub born at the San Diego Zoo was a male named Yun Zi. Born on Aug. 5, 2009, his name means "son of cloud."


UPDATE! First Snow for Baby Panda

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You first read about Fu Hu, the baby panda born at Viennas' Schönbrunn Zoo, in our ZooBorns.com article back in November of 2010. 

Though born last year, he is experiencing the joy of romping in the first snow of his life because he spent all last winter in his birthing box. He pads through the snow-covered enclosure, climbs up the icy tree trunks and nosily sniffs the blanket of white. Neither he nor his parents, Yang Yang and Long Hui, have any fear of contact with the chilly and damp elements. Pandas live in the foggy and humid mountain forests of Southwest China and are very well adapted to cold and snow.

“Even the sole of their paws is covered in fur. This not only protects them against the cold it also prevents them from slipping on the snow and ice” explains the Zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter.

Watching the Pandas play in the snow is bound to warm the heart of the Zoo’s visitors.

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Photo Credit: Daniel Zupanc

More photos after the jump!

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Three Little Noses Peek into the World: Red Panda Triplets at Red River Zoo

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On June 20, three little faces - two male and one female -- were seen in the Chinese Red Panda nesting box at Red River Zoo in Fargo, ND. This is the second time the zoo has had triplet Red Pandas. The mom is Wei Da and the father is Rusty, a male on a breeding loan from the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

At birth, each of the cubs weighed in around 130 grams. Now, at  6 weeks old, the babies weigh just about a pound (4590 gms) and are doing well. Zoo keepers say Wei Da is doing a great job as mom, especially with three cubs to raide all at once!

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Photo Credit: Marcy Thompson

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Little Pandas Grow Up So Fast!

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It seems like only yesterday (more specifically, last October) that ZooBorns was announcing the birth of two tiny Giant Panda cubs at Madrid Zoo. Today "Pambassador" Jeroen Jacobs sent us new photos of the troublemaking duo and it appears they have almost outgrown their custom built Panda crib. Between time with mom, feedings with the keepers and rough-housing, cubs "De-De" and "Po" are growing up big and strong. 

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Many more pics below the fold

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Zoo Atlanta's Panda Cub Gets a Name!

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100 days is a long time to wait for a proper name, but today Zoo Atlanta's little Panda cub got a name: "Po!" It's no coincidence that the cub's name might sound familiar to fans of Kung Fu Panda. DreamWorks sponsored the naming of the little cub in exchange for funding Zoo Atlanta's panda conservation efforts. Additionally, DreamWorks will continue to fund efforts at China's Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a facility we have covered in the past. The cub is now 11lbs and took his first steps a few days ago. See the cubs progress as covered by ZooBorns at birth and four weeks.

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Checking in on Madrid's Panda Cubs

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Back in December we brought you news of Madrid Zoo's Giant Panda cubs and their transition from climate controlled incubator to custom Panda crib. Courtesy of "Pambassador" Jeroen Jacobs, here's another look at the cubs (named De De and Po) as they explore, wrestle, and in the case of Po, harass their sleepy brother. You can learn more about Zoo Madrid's Panda cubs on Jeroen's blog Giant Panda Zoo. While the cubs were safe and sound and/or trouble-making in their crib, mom, Hua Zuiba, was enjoying some personal time outside. Jeroen is one of six Pambassadors sponsored by China to travel to zoos and help document Giant Panda breeding and care. Best job ever? 

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Photo credits: Jeroen Jacobs

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Zoo Madrid's Panda Twins Move into a New Crib

At nearly three months old, Zoo Madrid's Panda babies are growing steadily. In these pictures, courtesy of Jeroen Jacobs, the cubs are seen settling into their new wooden crib. The cubs' mother, Hua Zuiba spends some of her day outside eating and napping in her favorite tree. In the winter months, it is too cold for her cubs to join her outside. They pass the time safely nestled together, either in their incubator for extra warmth or exploring their spacious new crib. You can learn more about Jeroen's visit to Zoo Madrid at his website GiantPandaZoo.com.

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Photo credits: Jeroen Jacobs taken at Zoo Madrid

More photos below the fold...!

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Peaceful Panda Cub Debuts in Atlanta

Giant Panda mom, Lun-Lun, gave birth to a tiny pink cub on November 3rd at Zoo Atlanta. At that time, the cub was hairless and helpless, like all panda cubs at that age. One month later, the cub is hairy but still helpless as we see in this special behind-the-scenes veterinary check-up video below. Heather Baker Roberts, Carnivore Keeper II, gave a detailed update yesterday on the Zoo's panda blog. "The cub is becoming more active each day. When Lun Lun leaves him alone, he wiggles and exercises his muscles. He works one back leg as if to scratch himself or he manages to turn himself around on the floor.

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(continued from above "Most importantly, he can right himself when he ends up on his back.  Just last week, if he accidentally rolled onto his back while Lun Lun was away, he was very unhappy – flailing his legs in the air and squawking loudly until Lun Lun rushed back and picked him up. He was like a stranded tortoise! But now he has developed enough muscle strength to roll himself over onto his stomach fairly quickly when he is supine. I am actually surprised he can roll over at all since his belly is so fat, but I have seen him do it several times in recent days. This is a big step for the little guy!"


Piles of Panda Cubs!

Founded in 1987, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is a Chinese facility that promotes panda research, education and conservation. This facility never removes pandas from the wild. In addition to its education and outreach programs, it serves as a valuable source of unique genetic material, which is invaluable in panda breeding programs around the world. This facility partners with the Smithsonian National Zoo, Atlanta Zoo, and Oakland Zoo among others. These pictures were taken in October and the babies appear to be somewhere between 6-8 weeks old.

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Panda cub chengdu - arms up!

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Photo credits: giantpandazoo