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Giant panda birth gives Madrid Zoo 1st female

In this image released by the Zoo Aquarium de Madrid, a newly born giant panda cub lies in a cot where vets examined her at the Madrid zoo, Wednesday Aug. 31, 2016. (Zoo Aquarium de Madrid / Associated Press)
Associated Press

MADRID – There’s a new giant panda in Madrid, and it’s the first female of the endangered species born at the Spanish capital’s zoo.

The zoo said Hua Zui Ba gave birth just before dawn Wednesday to a cub weighing 6.35 ounces. The zoo said the cub is “well formed, very active and has excellent vital signs.”

It is already suckling, and zoo experts said they are confident of its progress in the crucial first week of life.

The specialists at the Madrid zoo were assisted by experts from China’s Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding. They knew the birth was approaching when Hua Zui Ba became increasingly lethargic, stopped eating and began to lick her paws.

The Madrid zoo now has four giant pandas.