Human mothers undeniably love their babies at first sight, but in the animal world, it may be harder to get the same kind of read on how a new animal mom is feeling.
In the case of this mother giant panda bear, however, her love for her little cub is heart meltingly obvious.
Mother Yuan Yuan and her baby were kept in separate enclosures at the Taipei Zoo for safety reasons when the cub had a leg injury and needed to recover. The baby was brought to mom’s cage, and the meeting was very sweet, with the cub reaching out her paws and mom licking her through the cage.
But after a month, mother and baby were properly introduced. To say that the mother-baby bond is immediately clear is an understatement.
Mother giant panda Yuan Yuan’s first meeting with her cub Yuan Zai is so special and amazing…though they’ve been apart for a month, their loving reunion is the sweetest thing ever captured on video.
Baby is first placed in an enclosure, where she’s heard making noises and struggling a bit. Mom giant panda enters the cage and immediately goes to her little one, nuzzling the cub and then picking her up with her mouth. She then brings her baby close to her body and sits, snuggling her sweet child in a warm embrace. So precious.
The Daily Mail reports: “Giant Pandas are notoriously difficult to breed and it often takes years, if at all, for them to conceive in captivity. With fewer than 2,500 giant pandas living free in China, down largely to deforestation and a growing human population, conservationists are desperate to increase their numbers to boost their dwindling numbers.”
Commenters on the Daily Mail story weighed in on why the bears were separated, with one explaining: “For those who have questioned, the baby was separated temporary only. Since Yuan yuan’s a first-time mom, it’s just preventing her accidentally hurt her daughter, which the pandas often tend to. That’s one of the reason why breeding them is difficult. The zoo choose to separate them and get them familiar to each other gradually. Besides, the mother also needs time to refresh from exhausting baby delivery. They will be reunited as soon as they’re well prepared. I hope this helps!”
Yet another noted: “Don’t worry, they are now together. A wound was found in the baby’s groin when it’s born, to prevent the wound from being licked by her mother, which may cause infection, they were separated till zoo keepers make sure it’s full recovered.”
Still another person commented: “Many people here are asking why the cub is separated from its mother. Yes, it looks heartbreaking, but the problem is that far too often panda cubs born in captivity die when taken care by their mothers. The mother simply crushes the cub by accident when rolling around with it, or sometimes the mother giant panda for some reason stops feeding it. And because cubs being born is so rare, the zoos take extra precautions to ensure the survival of the cub until it’s big enough to survive with its mother. I agree that looking at the mother and the cup separated by steel bars looks terrible, but the staff does not do it out of cruelty, but out of necessity.”