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Panda cub healthy - Wan Junaidi

Panda cub healthy - Wan Junaidi
The yet-to-be named panda cub was born on August 18, weighing 175 grammes and as at Sept 16, it weighed 1,195 grammes. - Astro AWANI
KUALA LUMPUR: The panda cub born to giant panda Liang Liang at the Giant Panda Conservation Centre (GPCC) is growing well, said Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

The survival rate of giant panda cubs was also good, he said.

"We noticed this baby panda has patches on its body and eyes. This shows the panda cub is in a very healthy state.

"Growth rate (of the cub) monitored by the staff here is also showing good signs," he told reporters after attending a briefing on the latest developments on the panda cub at GPCC, Zoo Negara, here, Sunday.

The yet-to-be named panda cub was born on August 18, weighing 175 grammes, and as at Sept 16, it weighed 1,195 grammes.
The birth of the baby panda also put Malaysia as the first country outside China that has successfully reproduced a panda naturally in captivity in a short period.

Liang Liang gave birth to the cub 15 months after it arrived in Malaysia with partner Xing Xing on May 21, 2014, beating Japan which had a panda giving birth in 18 months.

Wan Junaidi also confirmed that the cub will be sent back to China, once it is two years old.

"I just read through the agreement and this is part of the terms that we had agreed on," he said.

He added that as the host country, Malaysia also needs to pay China US$600,000 to the panda conservation society in China as "birthday gift" for every cub born here.

He also attributed the successful birth to the availability and dedication of GPCC staff in creating an environment that was similar to the mammal's natural habitat, as well as a good diet of local bamboo.

Malaysian Zoological Society Giant Panda Conservation Centre and veterinary services director Dr Mat Naim Ramli said Liang Liang was also in good health following the birth.

"She is still under quarantine and she will be released to the common viewing area once she can seperate from her baby.

"She is now still eating with only one hand, while the other is holding her baby. The cue will be when she releases her cub," he added.