Published July 05, 2012
TOKYO – A panda has been born at a Tokyo zoo for the first time in 24 years.
Tokyo's popular Ueno Zoo says the panda was born Thursday to Shin Shin. The 7-year-old mother was brought to Japan from China just before Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami last year.
The baby's gender was not immediately known. Zoo officials say the pair appear to be in good health but will be monitored around the clock.
It was the first panda born at the zoo since 1988 and was conceived naturally.
Giant pandas have a low birth rate and artificial insemination has been common in captive breeding programs.
The birth of Shin Shin's baby was much anticipated in Japan, and the news was flashed on major television networks Thursday.