TAIWAN

Watch: Taiwan's first newborn panda reunites with mother

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 August, 2013, 11:36am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 August, 2013, 12:51pm
AFP

Share

It's a moment of tenderness that might just melt your heart.

 

As a baby panda is reunited with her mother for the first time since its birth, she squeals with excitement before being scooped up and hugged.

Zookeepers in Taipei had to separate tiny Yuan Zai from her mother, Yuan Yuan, last month as she had suffered a slight injury just after birth.

 

Keepers raised the cub in an incubator, monitoring her around the clock.

On Tuesday the pair were reunited for the first time, with mum tenderly locking her baby before picking her up in her mouth and then clutching her to her chest.

 

The mother and daughter later fell asleep together following the reunion that lasted several hours.

The zoo said it was still evaluating when the 39-day-old cub can be permanently reunited with her mother.

The cub, the first panda born in Taiwan, was delivered on July 7 following a series of artificial insemination sessions after her parents -- Yuan Yuan and her partner Tuan Tuan -- failed to conceive naturally.

The birth of Yuan Zai, which means child of Yuan Yuan, has sparked great joy in Taiwan with local media carrying daily reports and photos on her growth. The public will have to wait for another two months to see her.

 

The Taipei zoo has kicked off a naming campaign for the cub, with the public voting on what to call her. The final result expected to be announced on October 26.

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan were given to Taiwan by China in December 2008 and have become star attractions at Taipei Zoo as well as a symbol of the fast improving ties between Taiwan and its former bitter rival China.

 

Taiwan will be allowed to keep the cub as the panda couple were a gift from China rather than a loan, Taipei officials have said.

Fewer than 1,600 pandas remain in the wild, mainly in Sichuan province, with a further 300 in captivity around the world.