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Giant panda delivers this year's first cub

2014-05-27 13:17 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e
Giant panda Guo Guo [Photo / China News Service]

Giant panda Guo Guo [Photo / China News Service]

A giant panda in southwest China's Sichuan Province has given birth to a cub, the first born this year, but scientists have yet to identify the gender and the father of the newborn.

Giant panda Guo Guo delivered the cub at 4:51 am Monday at the Bifengxia Panda Base in Ya'an city, scientists at the base told Xinhua on Tuesday, noting that it is the first panda cub born this year.

Shortly after birth, the cub was barely visible when cuddled in its mother's arms.

Scientists say it looks like a healthy cub, but its gender and weight are not yet known.

The cub was born nearly four months after the mother, Guo Guo, naturally mated with panda males Lu Lu and Wu Gang on Feb 10 and 11 respectively.

Scientists say they have to identify the father of the cub through DNA tests.

Guo Guo is also mother to two pairs of twin pandas, born in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

China saw 49 panda cubs born last year, with 42 surviving, making a record for giant panda breeding in the country.

Thanks to the development of breeding technology, the number of captive-bred giant pandas around the world had risen to 376 by the end of 2013. It is estimated that about 1,600 pandas live in the wild.

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