Giant panda cub born at Ouwehands Zoo!

News Giant Pandas Birth news

After a long period of uncertainty, the moment has finally arrived! On Friday 1 May, giant panda Wu Wen gave birth to a cub! The mother and her cub are staying in the maternity den and are doing well. Ouwehands Zoo is delighted and proud to contribute to the protection of this endangered species in a natural way. 

Marcel Boekhoorn, the owner of Ouwehands Zoo, is thrilled. “I couldn’t be happier with the birth of this panda cub. This is the positive news that everyone was expecting. I would like to congratulate the panda keeper team. This cub was born and conceived naturally thanks to their patience and expertise. 

The birth of the cub is a wonderful conclusion to an uncertain period that started after the mating in January. For some time, Wu Wen had been staying in her maternity den more often and for a longer. In the past days, she barely left. The keepers were able to follow her through camera footage. On Friday morning, around ten o’clock, Wu Wen exhibited interesting behaviour. She became restless, made noises and licked profusely between her paws. The keepers hardly dared to say so, but everything indicated that the contractions had started. A first careful cry was heard at 12:30, when the cub was born. Mother and cub are doing well.

Male or female?
The cub’s gender will remain a surprise for the time being. The keepers are currently leaving mama Wu Wen and her cub alone. When the cub leaves the maternity den after a few months, we will be able to see what the gender is. When that happens, the little giant panda will be named. 

Temporarily in the Netherlands
The giant panda cub belongs to China, just like Xing Ya and Wu Wen. It can stay in the Netherlands for four years. After that, it will go to China to continue to contribute to the breeding programme. 

In the maternity den, for now
Wu Wen and her cub are staying in the maternity den for a few months longer. The cub has to  grow, learn how to walk and follow their mother Wu Wen. Only then they will go into the indoor enclosure together. The keepers will closely monitor the development of the cub via camera footage. 

Why a panda cub is so important
The giant panda is an endangered species that is only found in the wild in China. Their habitat is shrinking due to the construction of roads, mines and dams. This makes it hard for them to find other giant pandas to reproduce. An international breeding programme was established to protect this unique species. With the birth of the cub, Ouwehands Zoo is contributing to this cause. 

Restoration and growth
By planting bamboo forests, Ouwehands Zoo Foundation is contributing to the restoration of the giant panda’s habitat in China. In this way, it is easier for the giant pandas who live far away from one another to move through the territory and meet other giant pandas. This contributes to the reproduction and therefore the growth of the population in the wild.