Panda cub and mother Bai Yun at San Diego Zoo doing fine
The hairless, four-ounce panda cub born Sunday at the San Diego Zoo is showing positive signs: a round belly, movement and a squeaky voice to protest even a momentary separation from its mother, Bai Yun, zoo officials said Tuesday.
"That indicates good vigor and a proper behavorial response to the cool air and loss of contact with mom," said Suzanne Hall, senior research technician for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.
The round belly suggests that Bai Yun is producing sufficient milk for nursing. Bai Yun left the cub just briefly Tuesday to get a drink of water, bringing a protest.
At age 20, Bai Yun's pregnancy was considered "high risk"; zookeepers, researchers, veterinarians, scientists and others are keeping a 24-hour watch on mother and cub.
Bai Yun and her cub will not be on exhibit for a four- to five-month bonding period but can be seen on the zoo's live Panda Cam, www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam.
The cub is Bai Yun's sixth offspring since arriving at the San Diego Zoo in 1996. No breeding facility outside China has had as many surviving panda births as the San Diego Zoo.
The cub has yet to develop its distinctive black and white markings. Also, the sex will not be known until zookeepers have a chance to examine it more closely, probably in two months.
--Tony Perry in San Diego