Belgian Zoo Debuts Rare Baby Panda

Screenshot via YouTube
Screenshot via YouTube / Screenshot via YouTube

In Belgium, you can now visit a rare panda born in captivity. The youngster "Baby P"—born at the Belgian zoo Pairi Daiza in early June—is making his first tentative steps outside his nursery with his mom, the 6-year-old giant panda Hao Hao, according to the Daily Mail.

Pandas are notoriously hard to breed, and this is only the sixth panda born in a European breeding program in the last 20 years. Baby P is also the first since the birth of a male named Xing Bao at a Madrid zoo in 2013. While it’s hard enough to get pandas to breed in captivity, birthing a healthy cub is yet another challenge. At the National Zoo in Washington D.C., veterinarians have twice in the last three years lost newborn panda cubs only a few days after celebrating their birth. There are only around 1800 pandas left in the wild, making every healthy panda cub something of a miracle.

The zoo even posted a video of Baby P's birth:

Hao Hao and her mate, Xing Hui, are on loan to the Belgian zoo from the Chinese government, and if all goes well, Baby P will return to China when he turns 4 years old.

See the zoo prepping its cave enclosure for Baby P's first steps out into the world in the video below:

[h/t Daily Mail]

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