Chiang Mai Zoo's head veterinarian Boripat Siriaroonrat said yesterday that giant panda Lin Hui was scheduled to give birth on January 10.
Lin Hui has been pregnant for 97 days now although ultrasound tests have not been able to detect the embryo due to its tiny size. However, Boripat said signs of lactation and lower progesterone levels, indicated the panda was getting ready to give birth.
The veterinarian team plans to avoid further to ultrasound tests, which are considered stressful for the panda. Instead, they will try to detect the embryo's heartbeat and size to better estimate the time of birth.
Meanwhile, Lin Hui will be given extra vitamins and supplements to ensure she produces enough milk to feed her new cub.
The zoo will install a 24-hour surveillance camera so the public can observe Lin Hui at the moment she gives birth.