Malaysia panda's birth sets world record
It usually takes eight or nine years for a pair of pandas to reproduce.
According to The Star Online, the two giant pandas — Xing Xing and Liang Liang — in Malaysia's Zoo Negara have set a world record for having a baby in just a year.
The pandas arrived in Malaysia in May 2014.
The pair were at first suspected of not having hit it off despite attempts at mating, but that has been proven untrue.
Liang Liang gave birth to her female cub on Tuesday (Aug 18). It weighed 175g and measured 20cm,
Malaysian Zoological Society Giant Panda Conservation Centre and veterinary services director Dr Mat Naim Ramli told The Star Online: “We have set a world record for having our pandas reproducing within a short period through natural breeding outside of China.
“This is definitely a big impact on the research done by China.
“We are even considering keeping Xing Xing’s sperm in a sperm bank."
According to Mashable, the female cub (pictured below) will have to go back to China in two years time.
So why is it so hard for female pandas to get pregnant?
According to Smithsonian National Zoological Park, the female only ovulates once a year and in this period, she is only able to conceive for two or three days.
After that time passes, she is only able to mate again the next year.
The Malaysian Insider reported that the giant pandas, from Chengdu, China, were loaned through the Giant Panda International Conservation Cooperation Agreement Programme.
Dr Mat Naim told The Star Online: "Liang Liang is very motherly and she is very protective of her cub.
“We could only separate the baby from the mother for four minutes to quickly weigh, measure the height and determine the sex."
He added: “We are confident Liang Liang will make a good mother and can take care of the cub as she has given birth previously.
“She raised the first baby on her own and we hope she does the same.
“We feel there are better chances of survival with her taking care of the cub."
Watch: Malaysia's giant pandas set world record
Source: The Star Online, The Malaysian Insider, Mashable