Zoo Working to Protect First Panda Cub Born in France, After Twin Dies Shortly After Birth

On Friday, Beauval Zoo celebrated the arrival of the first panda cubs born in France.

According to CBS News, panda mom Huan Huan, who is on loan to the zoo from China, gave birth to the first two pandas with French citizenship.

Unfortunately, the joyous occasion was darkened by the death of the weaker cub shortly after birth.

Beauval Zoo, with help from panda experts in China, are working to protect the surviving cub, who is being hand-fed in an incubator when he is not with his mom.

The baby bear is a male that, for now, is pink, hairless and weighs only five ounces.

Huan Huan, who herself weighs 190 pounds, is a protective mother, which is good overall, but can make it difficult for the zoo’s staff to do important check ups and feedings.

Even with the loss of one cub, the mood around the zoo remains cautiously bright. The cub appears to be in good health and has started breastfeeding from Huan Huan.

The first lady of France, Brigitte Macron, has been named as the cub’s godmother. Macron is taking the role seriously, and has already called the zoo to check in on the adorable new arrival and to say congratulations. She will most likely meet her panda godchild in a month or two, when she announces the name chosen for the cub.

More importantly, the public will get their chance to meet the cub in about two months, when the baby is big enough for his debut. After moving into his exhibit the cub will stay at Beauval Zoo for several years before being sent to China to assist with country’s conservation efforts.

 

from PEOPLE.com http://people.com/pets/first-panda-cibs-born-in-france/

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