China-leased giant panda gives birth to female cub in S. Korea

Authors: Xinhua News

2020-07-23

A giant panda, leased by China to South Korea four years ago, gave birth to a female cub that became the first baby panda born in the country, Everland said Wednesday.
Ai Bao, a seven-year-old female, gave birth to a female cub at 9:49 p.m. July 20, local time, according to Everland, South Korea's largest theme park located in Yongin, 40 km south of the capital Seoul.
The baby panda was born with a weight of 197 grams and a height of 16.5 centimeters. South Korea saw the birth of a baby giant panda on its soil for the first time.
Everland said Ai Bao and her newborn remained in a good condition. Ai Bao succeeded in natural mating with Le Bao, an eight-year-old male, in late March.
Giant pandas are known to rarely get pregnant and breed in captivity as their breeding season only lasts for one to three days per year, usually between March and April.
Female pandas aged five to six are able to start reproducing. Male pandas usually become sexually mature one year later than females.
The baby panda will not be unveiled to the general public until it develops an immune system. It usually takes five to six months for a cub to be able to adapt to external environment.
Everland said it will continue to show pictures and videos of the baby panda through its SNS channels.
The giant panda pair arrived in South Korea in March 2016 on a 15-year lease. Their names, Le Bao and Ai Bao, mean pleasant and lovely treasures.
Everland built a 3,300-square-meter Panda World to accommodate the endangered species. The panda species was under threat of extinction but gained great popularity for lovely looks and rarity in the world.
Over 9.5 million people have visited the Panda World to see the panda pair, according to Everland.
The pandas were leased to South Korea for joint research purpose. China had previously loaned a pair of pandas to South Korea in 1994.

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