Ouwehands Dierenpark in Rhenen is the only zoo in the Netherlands that has giant pandas. The two pandas, Wu Wen and Xing Ya, have been on loan from China since 2017. Back in January, the two pandas mated for the first time and it has been an anxious wait to find out if a baby panda was on its way.
All that waiting ended in celebration when, on May 1st 2020, Wu Wen gave birth to a baby panda cub.
The first signs
Female giant pandas are only fertile for a couple of days a year, so timing is everything. After the two pandas mated in January, the animal caretakers at Ouwehands zoo suspected Wu Wen might be pregnant, but they did not know for sure so were delighted when, at 12:30 on Friday May 1st, Wu Wen gave birth to the panda cub.
So far, mother and young are doing well. They still reside in the maternity den and are monitored via camera images by the caretakers. The first 100 days are still high risk for a newly born pandas, with many things that can happen, so the caretakers will be ready to help if needed, but for now are leaving the two alone.
A boy or a girl?
For now the gender of the panda cub remains a surprise. In a few months’ time when the cub has grown and learnt to walk it will follow its mother Wu Wen into the inner enclosure, where the animal caretakers will be able to get a better view, and hopefully see what sex the little cub is. Only then will there be a naming ceremony.
Currently the cameras in Wu Wen ‘s enclosure are turned off, to allow the new mother and cub some privacy. You can however still watch the two cameras of the outside habitat of Xing Ya. The camera are live from 10am to 9pm each day. https://www.ouwehand.nl/nl/webcams
Visit the Zoo
Since end of May the Zoo is open again. To visit you need to buy your tickets online and book a timeslot for arrival. These are extra measure in place to help control visit numbers and maintain distance while queuing at the gates to get in.
Ticket booking system is also available in English here:
Back to China
Wu Wen and Xing Ya are on loan to the Ouwehands zoo from China. They will return to China in 2032. However the new panda cub will only remain in the Netherlands for four years before returning to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in China, where its parents also came from.