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Hope for Edinburgh pandas after Taipei birth

Yuan Yuan takes care of her panda cub, which is bottle-fed milk by keepers at Taipei Zoo. Picture: Getty

Yuan Yuan takes care of her panda cub, which is bottle-fed milk by keepers at Taipei Zoo. Picture: Getty

  • by RORY REYNOLDS
 

PINK and palm-sized, this is the tiny baby panda which experts thought would never be born after years of failed attempts to breed.

Yuan Yuan delivered the cub on Saturday night at Taipei Zoo, following artificial insemination given in March, the zoo announced yesterday.

The infant was born to her mother and father Tuan Tuan, who were presented by China four years ago.

The zoo released pictures of Yuan Yuan cuddling the newborn cub, yet to develop its trademark black and white fur coat, and of it being fed milk from a bottle.

It was the seventh such attempt in three years, with keepers facing the same challenges as those helping Tian Tian and Yang Guang conceive at Edinburgh Zoo.

Natural pregnancy among pandas is relatively rare and keepers in the capital will find out late in late July or early August if artificial insemination has been successful.

Taiwan, which split from China in 1949 after civil war, received Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan as part of attempts to improve frosty relations between the superpower and the wealthy island state.

 

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