Taipei Zoo mulls option of providing ‘pandacam’ for bundle of joy Yuanzai


TAIPEI — Discussions about ways to provide a live video feed of a recently born giant panda are underway in light of intense public scrutiny of the cub’s daily life, the Taipei Zoo said Sunday.

The construction of a real-time online stream for 43-day-old Yuanzai is beyond the zoo’s current ability due to a lack of staff and equipment, said zoo spokesman Chang Chi-hua.

Chang said one of the challenges the zoo is trying to overcome, for instance, is to increase its bandwidth so that video footage can be put online smoothly.

The zoo will consult with the Taipei city government to figure out ways to implement the “pandacam” project, Chang said.

Discussions about Yuanzai have dominated local media over the past week following zookeepers’ numerous attempts that led to a reunion between the cub and her mother, Yuan Yuan.

The cub was taken away from her mother shortly after birth and placed in an incubator for fear that Yuan Yuan might inadvertently hurt her. Newborn giant panda cubs are very small and frail compared with the adults.

Yuanzai was observed to have both her eyes half-open during a regular health check a day before, sparking another round of panda fever.

The cub has been under the intensive care of a team of specialists at the zoo since her birth July 6. She weighed 183.4 grams at birth and is now 2,130 grams, zookeepers said.

The birth, which created a big sensation in Taiwan, came after four years of artificial insemination attempts, using sperm from the only other giant panda at the zoo, Tuan Tuan.

The pair of giant pandas was given to Taiwan four years ago by China to symbolize warmer ties between the two sides.