Bai Yun the Panda Resting After Giving Birth to New Cub
After the labor, the 200-lb. mama bear "was able to sleep last night and get some rest," says Jenny Mehlow, a rep for the zoo. The sex of the cub, who was fathered by another panda named Gao Gao and weighs approximately 4 oz., won't be known for sometime because Bai Yun will keep the little bear hidden on her sternum, covered by her paw, for several weeks.
Over the past 24 hours, the new baby -- described by the zoo as mostly hairless, pink and about the size of a stick of butter -- has been receiving some extra special TLC. "The cub has been quiet, which is a good indicator that it is being cared for by Mom -- nursing, cleaning and holding," Mehlow says.
Bai Yun gave birth in the same cubbing den where her other children Zhen Zhen, Su Lin, Mei Sheng and Hua Mei were born. "We're not able to get our hands on the cub for a good few weeks," zookeeper Kathy Hawk told PEOPLE Pets before the cub arrived. "When we start thinking about maybe doing our first cub exam, Bai Yun will dictate when we're able to do that."
Hawk said that zoo staff would prepare for a cub exam (which takes about a minute) when the new mom starts to get her appetite back and begins to leave the den more frequently.
"The most important thing is we don't want to stress the mother out," Hawk said. "So usually the doctor will be with the cub getting a quick heart rate, or take a look at its eyes or its mouth. We'll also have one of our keepers stationed with Bai Yun to make sure she's okay."
The zoo will follow the Chinese tradition of waiting 100 days before selecting a name for the new cub. Check out the zoo's live panda cam from Bai Yun's den here, and leave your name suggestion in the comments below!
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