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Panda raised by humans gives birth to cub in semi-wild environment

Aug. 12, 2013 at 8:08 PM

BIFENGXIA, China, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A giant panda born in captivity gave birth Sunday to a cub in a semi-wild environment in southwestern China's Sichuan province, officials said.

Surveillance cameras in the semi-wild training center of the Bifengxia Panda Base allowed researchers to observe the mother, Princess, giving birth to a cub in the wild garden full of weeds, workers at the panda facility told China's Xinhua News Agency.

Five to six cubs are born every year under the semi-wild training program begun in 2010 and aimed at preparing captive giant pandas to be returned to the wild, Huang Yan, deputy chief engineer of the panda base, said.

When Princess, raised by humans after her mother refused to feed her, delivered her first twin cubs in 2003 experts at the panda center used toys and videotapes to teach her how to nurse her cubs, he said.

But in the birth Sunday Princess, who is 11, reportedly held the cub and licked its body skillfully after delivery.

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