Mamma mia! Panda momma bonds with new baby: Rock-a-bye-Panda (video)

14 Aug 2013

Tian Tian, the female Giant Panda, hangs out in Edinburgh Zoo in January 2012. Image via Wikimedia Commons

It has been a busy few weeks in female giant panda circles. Most recently is this mother-of-all-panda videos, involving six-week-old cub Yuanzai being reunited with her mum Yuan Yuan in Taipei Zoo in Taiwan. The duo had been apart since the cub’s birth in early July, when Yuanzai was placed in an incubator after suffering a minor leg injury while bonding with her mum.

Last week we learned of another female giant panda in Edinburgh Zoo, in Scotland, who life scientists believe could be pregnant following artificial insemination.

Today, the video featuring Yuan Yuan and Yuanzai began to trend on YouTube. It features mammy panda playfully caressing her cub as they bond again after their separation.

Tune into YouTube today

In a video that will probably melt even the most molten lead of hearts – Yuan Yuan is featured being reunited with her new little cub. In the first few seconds of the video, you would almost think the big momma is going to devour her cub.

ITN News has posted the video up on YouTube.

Yuanzai was born on 6 July. She was kept in an incubator after being injured, however, as zoologists wanted to do some groundwork with Yuan Yuan to see if she was capable of looking after her baby, and determine if she had a natural nursing instinct.

Roller-coaster ride

ITN News reported that Yuanzai suffered the injury to her leg after Yuan Yuan picked up the newborn cub rather too eagerly.

While the baby remained in an incubator, the scientists at the zoo gave Yuan Yuan a panda dolly so as to monitor her nursing leanings in the timeframe up to this week.

Watch the reunion between Yuan Yuan and Yuanzai here:


Yuan Yuan and her partner in crime Tuan Tuan were gifted to Taiwan from China back in 2008 – a move that was apparently meant as a gesture of goodwill. It seems that, when fused together, the names Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan translate as ‘re-unification’, ITN News reported.

Never say no to panda!

Back at Edinburgh Zoo, scientists and zoologists will be checking whether the giant female panda who abides there is pregnant or not in mid-August, or around tomorrow. They will be testing her hormone levels using pioneering protein analysis to detect for sure if she is actually expecting a cub, or if she is alternatively experiencing a pseudo-pregnancy.

We will endeavour to keep you posted on the turn of events at Edinburgh Zoo this week

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic