Singapore's first giant panda cub grows 6 baby teeth, could start chomping on bamboo soon

The male firstborn of Kai Kai and Jia Jia is growing fast.
PHOTO: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

SINGAPORE - The Republic's first giant panda cub might be chomping on bamboo soon, with the little one sporting six teeth now.

Carers of the 56-day-old cub spotted the first four teeth in its lower jaw on Sept 23, with two more emerging 10 days later.

The appearance of teeth at around two months is earlier than expected as baby pandas usually start teething when they are about three months old, said Wildlife Reserves Singapore in a statement on Friday (Oct 8). The cubs normally start attempting to chew on bamboo at the age of about seven months.

The male firstborn of River Safari residents Kai Kai and Jia Jia is also growing fast, gaining nearly 0.5kg in only one week to weigh in at just over 3kg currently.

The cub, which is yet to be named, measured 51.5cm from head to tail on Oct 6, the first time that its length was recorded.

Kai Kai, 14, and Jia Jia, 13, arrived in Singapore from China in 2012 under a 10-year loan from the Chinese authorities.

They began mating in 2015 but had failed to conceive over the years. Giant pandas are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity, in part due to the narrow window for conception.

The long-awaited birth on Aug 14 came after the giant pandas' seventh breeding season.

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.