The mood was tense, but last week the first panda to be born in captivity this year arrived safe and sound.
We asked the happy parents for an interview but we were told no, they are live bears and will literally rip your face off. So instead we’re just going to bring you the facts and the good news from the panda camp.
A captive-bred giant panda, named Ji Li, gave birth to the world’s first panda cub of the year in Chengdu Research Base, in southwest China’s Sichuan province.
The newborn cub weighed in at 166.8 grams, and was born on Wednesday, June 5. The name of the new arrival has not yet been shared, though I’m hoping it’s called Brian Fantana.
According to China Daily, the delivery was smooth, the young cub cried loudly when it arrived and the mother, Ji Li, fed it properly in the moments after the birth.
The new cub is the second birth for Ji Li in Chengdu, who was also born at the base in 2007.
Check it out:
As of November last year, there are around 548 captive pandas in the world, while wild pandas number less than 2,000. Most of the wild pandas are in the provinces of Sichuan and Shaanxi.
Are you hungry for some more panda facts? Of course you are, so open wide animal lover!
A panda cub is just 1/900th the size of its mother – one of the smallest newborn mammals in comparison to its mother. It takes around eight to nine months for the young cubs to be fully weaned and, when the mum falls pregnant again, young’uns will leave their mother. This usually happens at around 18 months of age.
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How confident is a beauty about her appearance? Never mind how big her face is in the photograph! (Da Mei) 🥰 ☺️ 😆 #panda#ipanda#animal#pet#adorable#China#travel#ipanda#cute#babypanda#videooftheday#Sichuan#funnyvideo#animalvideo#cuteness#cutenessoverload#giantpanda#pandababy#cutepanda
What’s that? You want seconds? Okay greedy guts.
In the wild, pandas live for between 14 and 20 years, while in captivity they can live up to 30. Though they’re often mistaken for poor breeders, long-term studies have shown wild panda populations can have reproductive rates similar to some American black bear populations, which are currently thriving, according to WWF.
Phew, I’m stuffed. Anyway, congratulations Ji Li!
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.