Yuanzai, the first cub born to a pair of giant pandas presented to the Taiwan region by the Chinese mainland, recently met her mother for the first time since her birth in an encounter that illustrated the bond between mother and child.
The giant panda cub was born on July 6 to female panda Yuan Yuan and male Tuan Tuan at the Taipei Zoo.
She currently lives in a incubator after accidentally sustaining a minor leg injury when the mother panda tried to grasp and lick the baby, according to the zoo.
On Aug. 6, a month after Yuanzai was born, caretakers decided it was time for the mother and daughter panda to see each other again.
In order to familiarize Yuan Yuan with her baby's smell, a caretaker first let the mother sniff a small quilt that was used to wrap Yuanzai, and then held the baby carefully close to the mother, but with the cage's bars separating them.
Upon seeing her baby, Yuan Yuan turned anxiously, licked the cub through the bars and made groaning noises that had never been heard before.
Before taking Yuanzai back to the incubator, caretakers gave Yuan Yuan a stuffed panda doll, which the mother picked up with her mouth and put in her arms immediately. But soon Yuan Yuan threw the doll away, and turned to look at the empty box where Yuanzai had been minutes ago.
According to zoo staff, Yuan Yuan's behavior made them believe she will be a good mother, and it won't be long before Yuanzai is put in her mother's care.