Pandas are very much in the world news this week. In Tokyo's Ueno Zoo, the first cub in 24 years has been born, naturally, to proud parents Shin Shin and her partner Ri Ri. Who arrived at the zoo soon after a devastating earthquake and tsunami. A ray of hope after the disaster.
This amazing night vision footage shows six-year-old mummy Shin Shin giving birth and holding what appears to be a tiny object to her chest, but which proved to be her new-born panda cub. The high pitched squealing is the new cub nuzzling into mummy. The sex of the cub has yet to be determined
Speaking at a conference following the birth the ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS PRESIDENT and Deputy Director explained what happened.
"We're very surprised, as it seems like it was born all of a sudden. While one may normally be worried about it being born that way, as one can see from the video she's caring and used to being a parent from the start. So we're quite happy."
"The thing I first realised it was by the baby's voice, as you can see in the video, right after the birth the baby started crying quite intensely so we realised it had been born."
While over in Mexico, Zoo officials in Mexico City's iconic Chapultepec Zoo announced details of an ambitious plan that could see a baby boom in the park's panda population. By artificially inseminating its 22-year-old panda, "Xin Xin", with frozen semen imported from their Asian home.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the giant panda is an endangered species with a growing population and habitat loss threatening China's national symbol back home. Breeding in captivity is normally carried out through artificial insemination and the birth of the Tokyo cub born naturally , is an important step forward for the Panda world. All together now ahh.
Written and presented by Ann Salter