Early on the morning of July 26th, the second panda cub of the year was born at the Chengdu Panda Base. The mother attracted much attention due to her poor health and difficult labor in previous pregnancies.
At 6:33 am, 17 year old Er Yatou successfully gave birth to a cub at the Panda Sunshine Nursery House. The cub is a male, weighed 175 grams at birth and was declared to be in good health after an exam by panda experts.
Mrs. Wu Kongju, one of the experts at the panda base, said that Er Yatou failed to naturally mate on the evening of March 17th and was therefore artificially inseminated on the morning of the 18th by base experts. Beginning June 25th, Er Yatou started to show common behavioral changes associated with pregnancy including a reduction in her food intake. She stopped eating the panda bread but continued to ingest bamboo up to 3 days before delivering, when she stopped eating altogether. On the morning of July 26th at 3: 35 am, her water broke. At 6:33am, she successfully gave birth to a cub. Er Yatou s process of delivery was different from other pandas. Er Yatou experienced an unusual delivery because normally you see contractions after the water breaks but in Er Yatou s case, there was little water and she paced a lot since July 24th with little contractions. Furthermore, we could see the amniotic membrane after 3 contractions. Then she averaged about 5 contractions per hour. In the end the cub was finally born.
Er Yatou has not been the healthiest of pandas and she has given birth to cubs three times in the past, all of which died. In the year 2000, she gave birth to twins. However, due to lack of experience, she accidentally scratched the cubs which resulted in a systemic infection that killed both. In 2003, she gave birth to stillborn twins and again in 2004 to another stillborn cub. In 2006, she finally gave birth to female cub. In 2007, she had twin female cubs. And this year, she became a successful mother again. Base staff are extremely proud of her. To date she has given birth to 5 litters of 7 cubs, 4 of which have survived.
Meanwhile, panda Jiao Zi s cub which was born on July 15th this year is growing up quite healthy thanks to the joint efforts of its mother Jiao Zi and the keepers. At present, the cub weighs 270 grams.