Taipei Zoo reunites panda cub with mother after 25 days

TAIPEI (The China Post) — “Rou Rou” (柔柔) was reunited with her mother on Thursday after 25 days spent under the care of Taipei Zoo (台北市立動物園). 

Yuan Yuan gave birth to “Yuan Zai” (圓仔) seven years ago. Although she has experience with nurturing a cub, she is still very careful with her second daughter, Taipei Zoo said.

This year, the second child was born with an L-shaped wound on her back, and there were problems with leaked milk during birth. Many were worried that there the cub might suffer from aspirational pneumonia, so a special “Nanny Group” reportedly took care of Rou Rou until she had fully healed. 

嗨!我的乳名叫「柔柔」|Hi! My name is “Rou Rou.” (Courtesy of Taipei Zoo)

To prepare Yuan Yuan for becoming a mother of another child, the zookeepers made a “mock-baby panda” with a Bluetooth speaker and even covered the mock with baby excrement.

The zookeepers wanted to test Yuan Yuan’s motherly skills and how tight she would hold her newborn. She did really well and completed all the challenges! 

圓圓抱著柔柔|Yuan Yuan is holding her new baby. (Courtesy of Taipei Zoo)

Earlier on Monday, the zookeepers first gave “Rou Rou’s” blanket to “Yuan Yuan” and a towel used to wipe Yuan Yuan under her daughter’s body. This was to help them get familiar with each other’s scent, according to a news release provided on Thursday.

Taipei Zoo let Yuan Yuan observe the baby the next day, and even let her hear the baby’s wail. Yuan Yuan’s motherly instincts turned on and she gently licked her child across the railing. 

柔柔|Rou Rou (Courtesy of Taipei Zoo)

On Wednesday, the zoo opened the passage between the delivery room and Yuan Yuan’s room. The mother walked into the room slowly and gently picked up the baby. Because the cub seemed to weigh more than her mother expected, Yuan Yuan held her hands carefully.