Japan baby panda healthy after 30 days

Tokyo (AFP) –


A baby panda in Japan has survived its crucial first 30 days, zoo officials said Wednesday, as fresh video showed the cub at one month old.

The female panda was the first to be born at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo in five years.

The rare birth delighted animal lovers and businesses keen to cash in on the excitement that the panda generated.

Footage released by the zoo shows the cub being weighed and measured by zoo keepers.

She is visibly bigger and has clearer black-and-white colouring compared to an earlier release.

But the panda barely moved, except when yawning and falling asleep.

At 30 days, she tipped the scales at 1,147.8 grammes (2 pounds, 8 ounces) and measured 29.5 centimetres (11.6 inches) in length.

"She's steadily growing," zoo director Yutaka Fukuda told reporters.

"The first month since birth is an unstable period. I think we were able to get through this difficult phase."

The baby panda's mother, Shin Shin, who mated with male Ri Ri in February, had given birth to another cub in 2012 -- the first time at the zoo in 24 years -- but the baby died from pneumonia just six days later.

"We'll remain vigilant and keep an eye on the baby panda," Fukuda said.

The zoo is monitoring her and mother Shin Shin 24 hours a day with an expert visiting from China, officials said.

The Tokyo government will on July 28 begin soliciting ideas from the public to name the panda, the zoo said.

It is estimated that fewer than 2,000 giant pandas remain in the wild, in three provinces in south-central China.