Baby Panda Born In Atlanta Zoo

Breaking cute thing news! A baby panda was born this morning to mama panda, Lun Lun, at Zoo Atlanta. Let me repeat that: A BABY PANDA!!!! Lun Lun, age 13, gave birth to a cell phone-sized cub inside a special “birthing den” in the zoo’s giant panda house. This is a huge deal because only 1,600 panda bears exist worldwide and, unfortunately, they do not seem to enjoy having sex. Artificial insemination is how Lun Lun’s gotten knocked up with her three cubs, including this one.Zookeepers at Zoo Atlanta have kept a cute diary of Lun Lun’s pregnancy, posting photos of the fetus and writing glowingly about her cooperation with the ultrasounds. In a post from last week, the curator of mammals wrote, “I’m sleeping with my phone next to the bed. We are expecting Lun Lun to go into labor anytime now.” Alas, the above photo is not of the baby panda born in Atlanta, because trust me, newborn pandas are kind of freaky-looking until they grow their signature black-and-white fur. The new baby panda will be introduced to the gawking public in spring 2011, but you can watch it, Lun Lun, and daddy Yang Yang online before then via the Zoo’s PandaCam. I am something of an amateur panda-ologist, so this news has me buying a plane ticket to Georgia just as soon as I can get some scheckels together. (No, I’m not kidding. I can get over my fear of flying for this.)

[Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam]