The unnamed little one was born on Sunday, the zoo announced

A giant panda donated by China to Taiwan has given birth to a second female after being artificially inseminated, the Taipei Zoo announced on Monday.

Yuan Yuan and his partner Tuan Tuan have been the main attractions since arriving from China in 2008 as a symbol of what was then warm relations between the two sides.

The unnamed bear cub, weighing 186 grams, was born Sunday after five hours of labor, the zoo said.

“We were hoping that the mother could take care of the little one. But Yuan Yuan was probably very tired of the … so after evaluation, we decided to remove the cub “to be fed by keepers,” the zoo said in a statement.

He added that the newborn was in stable condition after being treated for a minor back injury.

Yuan Yuan gave birth to a daughter Yuan Zai in 2013 — the first born in Taiwan.

Beijing usually only lends its pandas and any offspring must be sent to China.

But in a rare deviation from that protocol, Taiwan was allowed to keep Yuan Zai because his parents were a gift, according to Taipei officials.

China’s decision to give Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan to Taiwan was a symbolic gesture when the autonomous island was ruled by a Kuomintang administration friendly to Beijing.

  • Less than 1,600 pandas remain in the wild

    Less than 1,600 pandas remain in the wild

  • Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan arrived in Taiwan in 2008

    Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan arrived in Taiwan in 2008

“Tuanyuan” – a combination of Chinese characters in the names of pandas – means “reunion” or “unity”.

The couple’s arrival sparked panda madness on the island, especially after Yuan Zai was born.

Taiwan and China have been ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949, and Beijing has pledged to bring the island home one day, by force if necessary.

Since the election in 2016 of President Tsai Ing-wen, who sees Taiwan as a de facto sovereign state and not as a “one China”, Beijing has stepped up its military, economic and diplomatic pressures.

Fewer than 1,600 pandas remain in the wild, mostly in Sichuan province, with around 300 in captivity worldwide.


A panda and a mother reunite at the Taiwan zoo


© 2020 AFP

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