Cute alert as Taiwan's first giant panda cub goes on show

Story highlights

  • First giant panda born on Taiwan unveiled to public at six months old
  • 10,000 visitors queue to catch glimpse of baby bear Yuan Zai
  • Panda species, endemic to Sichuan province, is endangered in wild

A chorus of "oohs," "ahs" and "I want ones" sounded from Taiwan Monday as the first giant panda to be born on the island, the six-month-old cub Yuan Zai, was unveiled to the public at Taipei Zoo.

Conceived via artificial insemination, the bear was delivered on July 7 last year.

Around 10,000 people lined up to see Yuan Zai Monday, the zoo said, some arriving hours before opening time.

Hundreds watched Yuan Zai's first appearance as she showed off her climbing skills on logs and trees, before crawling off to nap with her mother.

Visitors are to be capped at just under 20,000 people a day.

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Panda fever

    The birth of Yuan Zai, which means both "child of Yuan Yuan" and "rice ball," sparked panda fever on Taiwan.

    The bear already has her own YouTube channel, documenting her cutest moments.

    Yuan Zai is expected to generate NT$500 million ($16.6 million) through commercial opportunities within the next six months, the Taipei City government said.

    The cub's mother, Yuan Yuan, and her mate, Tuan Tuan, were given to Taiwan by China in 2008.

    Their names combined mean "reunion" in Chinese.

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