By DAVID GERGES
Say cheese: The adorable four-month old baby panda is being nursed to full size at a zoo in China
Despite the growing fears over the future of the panda, these pictures show that all is well for one adorable cub.
Born in September last year, the young infant is being nurtured by its mother Ya Ya, under the watchful eye of delighted zoo keepers.
Keepers at Chongqing Zoo in southwest China, are pleased with the speed at which their latest addition is growing, and are hopeful it will soon be making its first public appearance.
Camera shy: The furry cub is being cared for by keepers and its mother Ya Ya
Keeper Hu Youlin said: 'The panda is growing as expected. Presently the baby panda weights 7 kilograms.
'The baby panda's arms and legs have grown stronger. Sometimes it even imitates the moves of its mother, which looks very cute.'
Mother's pride: Ya Ya plays with its infant at the popular enclosure
And according to Hu, the cub is monitored 24 hours a day to ensure its safety and as it continues to acclimatise to its surroundings.
He added: 'It has been under the care of its mother and is fed every a few hours, four or five times in a day.
'Sometimes, after its mother falls asleep, the baby will turn to its mother and feed itself.'
Cheeky: The baby cub feeds itself despite its mother falling asleep
The zoo which was built in 1955, owns more than 230 species of animals, with a total of more than 6000 animals in its reserve.
Chongqing Zoo is the breeding base for the giant panda, with more than a million visitors flocking to its enclosure to see the loveable mammal amongst other creatures.
Whilst pandas are on the red list of critically endangered species, it is estimated that there are 1,600 in the wild, with a further 332 in captivity.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
By DAVID GERGES