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Panda Cam: San Diego Zoo panda, baby cub 'bonding'

July 30, 2012 |  9:39 am

The panda Bai Yun gave birth on Sunday to her sixth cub since arriving at the San Diego Zoo, but the new addition won't be on display for several months.

Bai Yun and the 4-ounce cub will undergo a crucial "bonding period" and their progress can be tracked on the zoo's Panda Cam.

Sunday's birth capped off a nervous "panda watch," as zookeepers, veterinarians and researchers kept watch on Bai Yun with a closed-circuit camera. Because of Bai Yun's advanced age, the pregnancy was considered "high risk."

Bai Yun is about 20 years old. The six cubs are considered a record – with the most surviving pandas born at a breeding facility outside the endangered species' native China.

The birth gives the zoo four pandas, more than any other zoo in the United States, officials said: Bai Yun, her mate Gao Gao, their 3-year-old son Yun Zi and now the unnamed cub, whose sex will not be known for several months.

Under a panda-loan agreement with the Chinese government, four other cubs born to Bai Yun have been sent to a panda research facility in China: Hua Mei, Mei Sheng, Su Lin and Zhen Zhen.

Five of Bai Yun's six cubs were the product of mating with Gao Gao. Bai Yun's first cub, Hua Mei, born in 1999, was the product of artificial insemination: Her first intended mate, Shi Shi, proved uninterested in mating. Shi Shi was replaced in 2003 by the more lusty Gao Gao.

Bai Yun, who arrived at the San Diego Zoo in 1996, may be at the end of her reproductive years, officials said.


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