- Title: Panda Meng Meng is pregnant, Berlin Zoo confirms
- Date: 27th August 2019
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (AUGUST 27, 2019) (REUTERS) ZOO DIRECTOR ANDREAS KNIERIEM GIVING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (German) ZOO DIRECTOR, ANDREAS KNIERIEM, SAYING: "What we can see in the pictures is that everything is developing well. We already see a small animal, and most importantly - we see a heart. And the heart beats very fast, we can see two little chambers. And now it is going to happen soon, because the ribcage is already big, 2 centimetres. And that tells us that there will be a birth here in the next days or weeks." KNIERIEM SURROUNDED BY MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (German) ZOO DIRECTOR, ANDREAS KNIERIEM, SAYING: "She (Meng Meng) is not visible at all to the public at the moment. Behind me is the father. Certainly the father, as you can see. He is hungry after a well done job some four months ago. Meng Meng hasn't been in the public eye for some time, almost a week now, she is preparing behind the scenes. It is nice and cool there, one doesnâ€™t pant. The conditions are great back there, prepared for the - not really that exhausting - birth." FATHER JIAO QING EATING (SOUNDBITE) (German) ZOO DIRECTOR, ANDREAS KNIERIEM, SAYING: "The cub will stay in Berlin at first, of course. But when it is almost an adult, about 4 years old, it will be sent back to China. And there it will be prepared for the big breeding programme that is taking part in China. But it will not want to be with his mother anymore by then because mothers stop respecting them." FATHER JIAO QING EATING ZOO VISITORS WATCHING JIAO QING EATING (SOUNDBITE) (German) ZOO VISITOR, SUSANNE MARTILLA, SAYING: "We are very happy, of course. Because it is very difficult for a panda lady to become pregnant, or so we are told." (SOUNDBITE) (German) ZOO VISITOR, PAUL (NO SURNAME), SAYING: "As a Berliner, I am somewhat proud as well. That we will also have a small Panda." MORE OF JIAO QING EATING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ZOO VISITOR, ALEXIS DE LA CRUZ, SAYING: "It is always nice to come to the Zoo, to see all the different species and children learn to take care about nature. But it is also sad because the animals are in captivity. But it is important that children and new generations learn about the value of nature. I think it is an important achievement that the panda is pregnant despite being away from her natural habitat." ZOO VISITORS AND PAN TO PANDA ENCLOSURE
- Embargoed: 10th September 2019 15:38
- Keywords: Pandas Berlin zoo China pregnant offspring
- Location: BERLIN, GERMANY
- City: BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Reuters ID: LVA002ATZUOUX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Meng Meng, the female giant panda on loan from China and currently living in Berlin's zoo, is said to be expecting at least one cub, according to the institution. It would be the first baby panda to be born in Germany.
The exciting news was revealed in a ultrasound scan showing a picture of the "mini panda", posted on the Zoo's web site. The birth of a panda cub would be a breakthrough in its efforts to make Meng Meng and her male partner Jiao Qing breed since they arrived at the zoo in 2017.
Meng Meng and her male companion Jiao Qing mated for the first time in April. Afterwards Meng Meng was also artificially inseminated to increase the chances of fertilisation. Since then, she has undergone a series of ultrasounds - persuaded to sit still with treats of chopped up apple.
Female pandas are only fertile every two to three years, and for just 72 hours, so officials had to act fast.
The black and white bears, loaned to Germany from China, are a show of "panda diplomacy". China only allows the furry ambassadors to be hosted in countries where it has strong relations.
(Production: Holger Koerner, Ute Swart)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None