43 panda cubs born in zoos around the world for 2015

Baby pandas born in 2015 are placed on grass for pictures during a photo opportunity at a giant panda breeding centre in Ya'an, Sichuan province, China, October 24, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

The figures were released in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning province on Wednesday when experts from around the world met for the start of a three-day annual conference of the Chinese Committee of Breeding Techniques for Giant Pandas.

When the committee was set up in 1989, there were just 92 pandas living in captivity worldwide.

Today many of the problems they face, including difficulty in conceiving and for cubs to survive, have been solved.

Of the surviving cubs this year, 24 were born at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda under the administration of the Wolong Nature Reserve in Wenchuan county, Sichuan; 13 in the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, Sichuan, one was born in Chongqing Zoo in Chongqing municipality, and three in zoos in Toronto, Canada, Washington, the United States, and Malaysia, said Zhang Zhihe, chief of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Hong Kong's panda, Ying Ying, lost her long-awaited cub in Oct this year. It would have been the first ever giant panda born in the city. After years of trying, 10-year-old Ying Ying began to show signs of pregnancy in July and was due to give birth in Oct when she lost her cub.

Earlier in April this year, Wildlife Reserves Singapore confirmed that its female panda, Jia Jia, will not be delivering a cub this year. Jia Jia underwent artificial insemination after an unsuccessful mating attempt with male panda, Kai Kai.

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