Very sad news from Tokyo: A baby panda, born on July 5 and the first born in the Ueno Zoo in 24 years, has died. The tiny white-haired cub was found motionless and without a heartbeat on the belly of its mother, 7-year-old Shin Shin.
You can just glimpse the little panda in some parts of this video.
Zoo officials placed the baby in an incubator to revive it, but these efforts were unsuccessful.
Wiping away tears and choking up, zoo director Toshimitsu Doi said to reporters that “It appears that when the baby was being breast-fed, it may have inhaled some milk, which caused pneumonia.”
Shin Shin and Ri Ri, her partner, arrived from China in February 2011 shortly after the devastating tsunami and earthquake. The two giant pandas became instantly popular and excitement grew when monitors revealed that they may have mated. Changes in Shin Shin’s appetite and activity level alerted zoo keepers to her being pregnant.
Visitors had amassed at the zoo after the little panda’s birth and local media had followed it closely, says the BBC. Yutaka Fukuda, the zoo’s deputy director, echoed Doi’s emotions, saying “We’re really saddened by this. That’s all we can say.”
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