CHINA - Chiang Mai Zoo and panda fans have expressed relief and resumed their attentive wait for the country's second native-born panda cub after a recent ultrasound test finally showed that giant panda Lin Hui is carrying an embryo.
In addition, her behaviour once again showed the telltale signs of a panda mum-to-be on track for giving birth.
Veterinarian Boripat Siriaroonrat, who heads the panda-breeding unit of the Zoological Park Organisation's panda-research project, told a press conference yesterday that Lin Hui cooperated with the ultrasound test, which showed an embryo.
The test pleased veterinarians, who were previously concerned that the embryo might have been absorbed by Lin Hui's body.
With her progesterone hormone levels having fallen to 183 nanograms per milligram of creatinine, Lin Hui has also diligently built a nest out of bamboo leaves in a quiet |corner of the display area, instinctively seeking the safest place for the coming cub, he said.
Lin Hui has created a total of three nests, he added: two in the delivery rooms and one in the display area.
The zoo would soon receive a more effective ultrasound device from Chiang Mai University's faculty of veterinary medicine to check on |the embryo's development, he said.
The zoo has also asked a Chulalongkorn University veterinary reproduction expert, Sudson Sirivaidyapong, to join them on Sunday, he added.
Zoo veterinarian Nithidol Buranapim said the ultrasound clearly showed the embryo in its amniotic sac, so the veterinarians were now braced for the birth of Lin Hui's second cub, which could come at any time.
This case has drawn national attention, as did the birth of Lin Hui's previous cub, Lin Ping, in 2009, which created panda mania among Thais.