Baby Panda Makes Debut

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Panda Fu Hu

 

 

 

 

 

Panda fans have had a long wait for the chance to see Fu Hu up close. Born on August 23, 2010, he spent the first few months of his life safely cocooned in his cubbing box. And now the little ball of fluff, which will one day grow up to be a giant panda, has finally made his way into the enclosure. Various steps have been taken to childproof his new outdoor realm - soft, fresh straw has been spread on the ground beneath the tree trunks on which Fu Hu will make his first attempts at climbing. Although it is impossible to say when - or even if - the panda cub will put in an appearance, his keepers say that the chances are highest at around midday. Fu Hu still spends the best part of the day sleeping happily in his cubbing box.

Fu Hu, whose parents are Schönbrunn Zoo pandas Yang Yang and Long Hui, was born three years to the day after big brother Fu Long. Fu Long's birth caused a media sensation back in 2007, as he was the first naturally conceived panda to be born in a European zoo. And now this endangered species has repeated the feat at Vienna zoo with the birth of Fu Hu. As part of an agreement between China and Austria, Fu Long was moved to a new home in China on November 18, 2009. Like every giant panda, Fu Hu is in fact owned by the People's Republic of China, but for the next two years at least he will remain in Vienna.

But Fu Hu is not the only newborn at the world's oldest zoo: a two-toed sloth is currently the youngest of the new arrivals. Baby elephant Tuluba (born in August 2010) and Poitou donkey foal Richelieu are extremely popular with visitors. Vienna zoo's Rockhopper penguin breeding program is another major success story - in early 2010 Schönbrunn welcomed 10 chicks of this highly endangered species into the world.

Schönbrunn Zoo

Schönbrunn, 13th district
www.zoovienna.at

 

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