KUALA LUMPUR – The giant panda cub, which is still unnamed, has already shown all giant panda features when it grew fur with visible black spots on its body.
Director of Zoology and Veterinary at the Giant Panda Conservation Centre (GPCC), Dr Mat Naim Ramli, said the black-and-white fur was growing thick and healthy on the cub.
“Over the past three days, the body of the panda cub has started showing black spots at the parts where they should be, which are around the eyes, ears, shoulders, chest, feet and soles,” he told reporters after the 9th birthday celebration of the giant panda pair, Xing Xing and Liang Liang, here today.
Dr Mat Naim said the 15-day-old panda cub had yet to open its eyes and did not emit as much noise when it was separated from its mother, Liang Liang.
“The panda cub and Liang Liang seem to understand the importance of being separated for two minutes each week,” he said.
Liang Liang, who gave birth to the cub on Aug 18, was initially reluctant to let go of and used both hands to cuddle and protect the cub, making it difficult for the veterinarians to conduct their examinations.
“It is easier now for the veterinary team to approach Liang Liang,” he said.
Dr Mat Naim and his team estimated that by Saturday, the panda cub would have increased its weight to 400gm compared from the current 380gm.
He said Liang Liang’s eating habits had also changed after she started eating bamboo shoots while still consuming carrots, glucose and saline solution to ensure the production of breast milk for her cub.
Both mother and cub are still under 24-hour monitoring with Liang Liang given food every three hours, he added.
According to the agreement with China, the giant panda cub will only be in Malaysia for two years before it is sent back to the republic.
Liang Liang and Xing Xing, formerly known as Fu Wa and Feng Yi, arrived in Malaysia from China on May 24 as a symbol of the 40-year diplomatic relations between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. – BERNAMA