Baby panda makes debut in southwest China zoo

Updated: 2016-01-18 20:40


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CHONGQING - A giant panda cub met with the public for the first time at the municipal zoo in southwestern Chinese Chongqing on Sunday.

Breeders placed the panda cub, which weighs around 9.2 kilograms, in a blue plastic basket on the zoo's lawn for visitors to see. He tried several times to stand up but failed. Then breeders removed him from the basket and allowed him to play in the lawn for five minutes before he was taken home.

Panda fans have been eagerly waiting for his debut since his birth on August 30 last year. They lined up on Sunday to get a close look.

"We have to reduce the panda cubs' outdoor activities during the winter cold. If everything goes well, the cub can meet with panda fans every day during the Spring Festival holiday," said a breeder.

The cub's mother Yaya, 16, has given birth to four other female pandas.

His name will be announced by the zoo in February.

China now has 422 giant pandas bred and living in captivity with a survival rate of about 88 percent, the State Forestry Administration said this month. The country aims to increase the captive giant pandas population to 500 by 2020.