Panda Fever Takes Vienna

Celebration after surprise birth of cuddly endangered species
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2007 5:58 AM CDT
In this photo taken by a surveillance camera and released by the Schoenbrunn zoo in Vienna, female panda Yang Yang holds her newborn baby in her mouth, on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007. For the next two or...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – After Berlin's paroxysms over the polar cub Knut, now it's Vienna's turn: the giant panda Yang Yang has given birth to a 3.5-ounce cub, the first born in Europe in 25 years. The birth was a complete surprise; Yang Yang had shown no signs of pregnancy during a recent ultrasound, but zookeepers detected squealing from her compound yesterday.

Vienna's Schönbrunn Zoo explained that Chinese officials will name the panda, who should make his debut to the public in about four months. In the Austrian press the baby is already being called "a sensation," and China's ambassador to the country rather incongruously told the AP: "This is a good omen, also for the Olympic Games 2008."