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Shrieks of excitement as panda cub makes video appearance

THE HAGUE – Little shrieks of excitement highlighted the fist video appearance by the tiny cub of a giant panda at a Dutch zoo on Tuesday, a sure sign it now stood a solid chance of survival.

The Ouwehands Zoo where the cub was born on May 1 distributed the first pictures and video from the maternity den where mother Wu Wen cuddled, embraced and fed the fast-growing cub. As Wu Wen was carrying the cub around in her mouth, the den was alive with yelps of trepidation.

The release of the visuals also coincided with the end of the critical first days when many cubs die.

“Its well-filled belly is prominent and the distinctive coloring is very finely starting to appear," the zoo said in a statement.

A giant panda loaned by China to a Dutch zoo as part of a breeding pair has given birth to a cub, the zoo announced Saturday.

The new cub’s gender won't be known until it leaves the maternity den, likely in a few months’ time, with its mother.

Wu Wen and male panda Xing Ya arrived in the Netherlands from Sichuan province in 2017, as part of a loan program. The zoo said the new cub also belongs to China and can remain in the Netherlands for four years before going to China to join the breeding program there.

Around 420 pandas live in captivity in zoos and reserves, the majority within China, while an estimated 1,864 live in the wild.