Watch: Giant Panda Gives Birth at San Diego Zoo


Bai Yun, a Giant Panda at the San Diego Zoo, gave birth early yesterday morning, the zoo's blog reports:

"She had appeared more restless than usual in the last 24 hours, resting for shorter periods with intermittent nest building through the day and night. At about 2:45 this morning, she was observed leaning back and holding her feet. Regular changes of position become common at this stage of labor, and contractions were evident as the time went by. Bai Yun handled it all well, and staff agreed that this seemed like one of her easiest labors. At 4:58 a.m., Bai Yun stood up and had a series of contractions while on all fours. With the last one, we suddenly heard the loud squawking we had all been anticipating. As Bai Yun turned around to gather up the cub, we all got a glimpse at a wriggling infant on the floor, crying loudly for attention. Bai Yun immediately attended to her newest offspring and spent the next half hour or so soothing it, cradling it in her arms and licking it."

Writes the L.A. Times: "Pandas' reproductive systems are still largely a mystery to researchers, so even zoo staff, who'd been monitoring Bai Yun extremely closely, didn't know when she would give birth."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted August 6, 2009 at 10:35am ETC by Andy Towle
in Nature, News, San Diego