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First Panda Born in the U.S. in 2010: Zoo Atlanta

Lun Lun, a 13-year-old female Giant Panda at Zoo Atlanta, gave birth to her third cub on November 3, 2010. The cub, born at 5:39 a.m. in a specially-prepared birthing den in the Zoo’s giant panda building, is the only giant panda to be born in the U.S. in 2010. Lun Lun appears to be providing appropriate care for her cub, which is roughly the size of a cell phone. The Animal Management and Veterinary Teams will continue round-the-clock monitoring of mother and cub, and a preliminary veterinary checkup will be performed as soon as staff is able to remove the cub without disrupting maternal care.

Photo credits: Zoo Atlanta

You can also view Lun Lun and her baby on the Zoo's pandacam.

“We are extremely excited about welcoming Lun Lun’s and Yang Yang’s third cub, and proud of the success of Zoo Atlanta’s giant panda program,” said Dwight Lawson, PhD, Deputy Director. “This is a joy we share with the City of Atlanta, our colleagues in China, and our counterparts at our fellow zoological organizations housing giant pandas in the U.S.”

Zoo Atlanta Members and guests can expect to meet the cub in spring 2011. The cub’s father, 13-year-old Yang Yang, and older brother, Xi Lan, remain on exhibit and will not be introduced to their new family member. This separation is normal for giant pandas, which are solitary in the wild.

The newborn is the third offspring for the Zoo’s famous panda pair. Born September 6, 2006, their firstborn, Mei Lan, has lived at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding since February 2010. Born August 30, 2008, the pair’s second cub, 2-year-old male Xi Lan, remains one of the Zoo’s most popular and precocious animal stars. As is the case with Lun Lun’s tiny newest arrival, both Mei Lan and Xi Lan were the only giant pandas born in the U.S. in their respective birth years. All three births have been the products of artificial insemination.

The birth is a significant achievement for global efforts to save a critically endangered species. Fewer than 1,600 giant pandas are estimated to remain in the wild. There are approximately 280 individuals living in zoological institutions, only 11 of which reside in the U.S.

In the months leading up to the cub’s debut, images will be available on monitors at the Zoo’s Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Giant Panda Conservation Center and on PandaCam presented by EarthCam. PandaCam streams daily, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fans are encouraged to stay abreast of all things panda by following Zoo Atlanta on our website and on Twitter, joining the Zoo Atlanta Facebook community, and registering for biweekly eUpdate newsletters.