If you’ve found yourself sulking or grumbling over all the bad news floating about, here’s a happy headline: Zoo Atlanta has welcomed the first giant panda cub born in the U.S. this year. The male cub, born Nov. 3 to Lun Lun the panda, weighed just over 11 ounces as of last month, the zoo says.
It’s encouraging to see that an effort is being made to save these magnificent creatures. However, a myriad of problems still put the giant panda in grave danger. According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), the largest ongoing threats to the panda’s survival are poaching, conversion of forests into agricultural areas, bamboo harvesting, medicinal herb collection, and large-scale development activities such as mining and construction.
The 1.33 billion people crowding and polluting panda habitat in China can’t help, either. If the species is to be saved, there will have to be a massive effort from the Chinese government to enforce strict regulations relating to the preservation of panda habitat. According to WWF, there are only about 1,600 giant pandas left in the wild, and approximately 280 in captivity.
But for right now, let’s celebrate the milestone of the birth of another baby panda. Here’s hoping that, before too long, there will be too many of these births to count!
Lun Lun’s cub will not be available for viewing by the public until next spring, but until then, check out Zoo Atlanta’s Panda Cam here.