New panda mom crushes cub by mistake

July 6, 2010 at 9:10 PM

BEIJING, July 6 (UPI) -- A giant panda accidentally crushed a newborn cub, killing it before it was 24 hours old, officials at the Beijing Zoo reported.

The panda, Yinghua, had already refused to nurse its second-born cub, Xinhua reported. Zoo officials said this behavior is typical of pandas, which rarely have twins and almost always ignore the second-born cub when they do.

The second-born cub was transferred to Ya'an, a panda preserve in Sichuan Province, soon after its birth Friday. It will be raised there.

Its older sibling died early Saturday. Zoo employees blamed poor panda eyesight and Yinghua's inexperience for the death.

Yinghua heard the cub crying for milk and moved so quickly she crushed its ribs. By the time veterinarians saw the cub, it was beyond help.

The twins were the first pandas to be born in the Beijing Zoo since 2007.

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