A giant panda named Yongyong, in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, successfully gave birth to a female panda cub last week. It was the first panda to be born this year at the Qinling Panda Research Center.
(Photo: China Daily)
The new cub, weighing about 152 grams, also represented the third generation of captive breeding at the centers.
Yongyong's mother, Lousheng, 17, was the center's first panda to be successfully bred in captivity. Lousheng was named after her birthplace, Louguantai, in the northern Qinling Mountains, which is also one of the earliest known sacred places of Taoism.
Lousheng had given birth to six offspring four times, according to Shaanxi Provincial Forestry Bureau. Lousheng's mother, Xuexue, who enters her 30s this year, is still alive. She and her posterity present a harmonious scene in which four generations of the Qinling panda family live together.
In 2005, the Qinling panda was the first giant panda subspecies to be recognized. Located in Shaanxi province, the Qinling Mountains form a natural barrier between northern and southern China, protecting the south from cold northern weather.
As of November, the number of captive pandas stood at about 600 worldwide, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.