The black-and-white pair had a romantic liaison under a favorite bush back in April and then went separate ways. Now, after weeks of speculation and hope, it was announced at a press conference this morning that Bai Yun, the Zoo’s adult female giant panda, is pregnant. What great news! There is something about a baby panda that captures the heart and just doesn’t let go (well, at least for me!).
Dr. Don Lindburg, head of the Giant Panda Conservation Division, shared this happy information with members of the local media and the dozens of Zoo visitors who happened to stop by. He explained that ultrasound tests revealed the presence of two fetuses, but that one was much larger than the other, and it was likely that only one cub would be born while the other fetus might be resorbed by the mother’s body. It would be nice to have twin giant panda babies, but the important thing is to have a healthy cub born to a healthy panda mom.
I think the best news of all is that we won’t have long to wait for the birth! Dr. Lindburg predicted that, based on the size of the viable fetus, Bai Yun should be welcoming her baby by the middle of next week. My heart is ready to be captured once more!
Debbie Andreen is the San Diego Zoo’s Web site editor.
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