A Chinese giant panda in South Korea has given birth to the first cub in the country at a zoo in Yongin, the Everland zoo said on Wednesday.
The healthy female cub was born at 21:49 local time (1249 GMT) on Monday (July 20), the zoo said, after a seven-year-old female panda, Ai Bao, mated with an eight-year-old male panda, Le Bao, in late March.
The cub weighed in at 197 grams and was 16.5 centimetres long.
The zoo said Ai Bao was in labour for about an hour and a half and in footage the facility released, the mother bear was seen licking the wriggling cub after its birth.
The two adult pandas arrived in South Korea from China’s Sichuan Province on a 15-year loan in 2016, as agreed by the two countries during a summit in 2014.
The cub – unnamed for the time being – is expected to return to China after four or five years.
China has been sending their black and white ambassadors abroad in a sign of goodwill since the 1950s as part of what is known as ‘panda diplomacy’.