Thailand’s New Year Gift – A Baby Panda For Chiang Mai Zoo

 | Thu 2 Jan 2014 10:29 ICT

CityNews – Lin Hui, the giant panda on loan from China and mother of the famous Lin Ping, was artificially inseminated twice in September in the hopes of bringing another endangered panda into the world. The procedure was a success, and now Lin Hui is expected to give birth next month.

This is great news not only for Chiang Mai Zoo, but also for Thailand and for the species, as female giant pandas can only conceive during a two to three day period which occurs just once a year. The time it takes for a panda to give birth after conception can be anywhere from 95 to 160 days. Their low reproductive rate makes it nearly impossible for the giant panda population to recover from endangerment without help from humans.

What might seem surprising is that giant pandas are the smallest newborn of any non-marsupial mammal, weighing just four to six ounces (only about 100 – 170 grams).

Earlier this year, the public’s hearts were warmed when Lin Hui gave birth to a healthy cub named Lin Ping, who became the only panda ever born in Thailand. Lin Ping then left Chiang Mai Zoo for China to find a mate, and the parting was bittersweet, but now the panda-loving community can rejoice once again with the impending arrival of a newborn giant panda.