PETALING JAYA: We finally have a baby panda!
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak shared the good news on his Facebook and Twitter account on Tuesday that Liang Liang had given birth.
Najib announced: Gembira mendapat berita bahawa Liang Liang, panda di Zoo Negara, telah selamat melahirkan seekor anak pada 1.45 tengah hari tadi
. (Happy to know that Liang Liang, one of the pandas in Zoo Negara, safely gave birth to a baby panda at 1.45pm today).
On his Chinese Facebook page, Najib promised that the zoo keepers would take good care of the newborn cub.
"We will ensure the family of three are happy and remains in our country in good health," he added.
Giant Panda Conservation Centre (GPCC) zoology and veterinary director Dr Mat Naim Ramli confirmed the birth. He said the gender of the cub is yet to be known.
“We can see legs and some parts of the body but Liang Liang is still protecting it,” he said, adding that officials have yet to have a closer look at the cub.
On July 11, it was said that the giant panda pair of Xing Xing and Liang Liang were not able to mate for the second time after a year at their enclosure at the GPCC in Zoo Negara.
The pair from Chengdu, China, was loaned via the Giant Panda International Conservation Cooperation Agreement Programme and arrived in Malaysia on May 21 last year.
The agreement signed in 2012, gives Malaysia an opportunity to conduct panda-related conservation research, besides developing local expertise on pandas over a 10-year period.
It was reported that Malaysia would get to keep the cub of the two giant pandas if they successfully mate in Zoo Negara. When the baby reaches three years of age, its parents would be sent back to China.