Su Lin Gives Birth!

Congratulations, Su Lin!

We are filled with pride! Just days ago, in a naturalistic den, high in the mountains of Sichuan Province, surrounded by bamboo and forest ferns, Su Lin gave birth to her first cubs.  And from what we’ve seen, her maternal skills kicked right in as she gently picked up the vigorous and squawking cub with her mouth and sheltered it into her great body for warmth soon after the cub was born.

This news from China is fantastic and the culmination of months of waiting since we heard of Su Lin’s successful breeding back in March.  Not only has Su Lin given birth in her semi-wild enclosure, but she is  also the first new panda mother of the year.  We also learned that Su Lin gave birth to a second, stillborn cub.  While this is a sad note in this otherwise joyous event, we know that this is not an uncommon occurrence with giant pandas. From what we’ve seen, the veterinary staff has already given the surviving cub its first quick examine and have returned the cub safely to Su Lin.

As we hear more, we’ll share what we’ve learned. So stay tuned! And in the meantime, mark your panda-calendars: July 7, 2011, was an auspicious day!

Megan Owen is a conservation program specialist at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Read her previous post, Su Lin: No Worries!

36 Responses to Su Lin Gives Birth!

  1. WOW!!! We saw Su Lin Mar 4, 2006 when she was just a little fuzz ball up in a tree. I have many pictures of her fuzzy bottom in a tree but never saw her on the ground. Went to see Tai Shan in December of 06 in DC – guess what? Lots of pictures of a little fuzz ball asleep on a branch. Have yet to see a baby panda on the ground. I have my fingers crossed Bai Yun or Mei Xiang or both will give us a baby soon! GOTALUV those black and white fuzz balls.

  2. I have goose bumps all over with tears of joy on my face. What wonderful news! She comes from the best pandas ever! Congratulations panda team!

  3. This is wonderful news for Su Lin! I know you all are so proud of her!

    I’d also like to recognize Qian Qian who gave birth to twins yesterday!

  4. Congratulations to our beautiful Su Lin the first panda mother of the year. Su Lin has definitely inherited her maternal skills from her mother. She will be a wonderful mother just like Bai Yun. I am happy to hear that the cub is vigorous and squawking. This healthy cub will keep Su Lin very busy for the next few months. :-)

    I will eagerly be awaiting further news as you learn more about Su Lin and her cub. Thank you.
    Thank you.

  5. CONGRATULATIONS San Diego Zoo Giant Panda Research Station!!!
    Susie has learned from the best, her Hero Mother Bai Yun.

    I’m so happy for Su Lin. I know she will be a wonderful mother in the years to come.
    I saw video of Susie in her new home and it looks beautiful in Hetaoping. This little cub will have a wonderful time growing up there. Please keep us posted on all the pandas we’ve returned to China. I’m curious to know when Mei Sheng will become a father…

  6. A beautiful occasion for a beautiful giant panda. It is fitting that Su Lin would have the first baby of the year. She is such a wonderful little lady, from an amazing panda family. May they both thrive in this new environment. All us panda lovers want lots of videos of mother and baby.

  7. Well,I said a year ago that I hoped that this year we’d be looking at pictures of Su Lin’s new cub; now we are doing just that! It was not only a fervent wish–I absolutely *believed* that this would be. And haven’t they given her a nice home to live in? I was very impressed when I saw the video. Now, the last remnants of whatever sadness we felt when Su Lin had to move to China are entirely swept away–there’s another panda in the world, which is what it’s all about. She’ll be a good mother, like her own mother before her. And to all of you at the Giant Panda Research station who have known Su Lin since she was an ultrasound image and trained her and cared for her for 5 years, many, many thanks for the good work that you do. Another San Diego-born panda is proving to be a success, Bai Yun is the grandmother of 9, maybe more, depending on what we hear of Mei Sheng in the near future, Gao Gao’s a grandfather for sure now–you’re right, this was certainly a day to remember!

  8. Congrats to SDZ.. .without you and Bai/Gao, there wouldn’t be a SuLin… Isn’t it fitting that the “July pinup girls” in the SDZ Panda Calendar is Bai and a baby SuLin?

  9. What wonderful news!! Congrats to the whole panda team at SDZ and also to Grandma Bai Yun and Granddad Gao Gao. Su Lin being a mother….. She was my first panda to watch on the panda cam and I experienced all the good moments and her fantastic antics. I felt so tearful when she had to return to her ancestors’ country in order to fulfill her “duty” which she now has superbly managed. There is no doubt that she will be an excellent mother thanks to her own mum Bai who has brought her up so well, with lots of care and love. Sorry to hear that Su had a stillborn baby as well which unfortunately happened in Viennna, too.
    However, it is great to know that Su’s other baby is well. I watched the video and was very moved seeing “little” Su Lin carrying her offspring around. I am looking forward to receiving more news in due time. By the way who is the proud father?

    Moderator’s note: Su Lin bred with 12-year-old wild-born male Wugang.

  10. Congratulations to everyone at the zoo. It must be bittersweet to see one of the cubs you helped raise now embarking on her own maternal journey.

    I wonder if the little cub will have Gao’s webbed toes! Wouldn’t that be something!

  11. More happy tears for Su Lin. What a heartfelt post you’ve written, She is indeed in a most beautiful forest where she still is brought bamboo and cared for while she raises her son. What joy the cubbie will bring to her. I am sooooo happy for Sweet Su. And Bai and Gao and the SDZ. And her many many aunties and unkas.

  12. Congratulations to the Panda Team, Su Lin was my first cub to see raised by Bai, I also saw her in person, she was up in a tree sleeping. What great news. Any news of her sister ZZ?

  13. I remember that you had a photo gallery of Su Lin from the time she was born just as you have one of Yun Zi. Is there a way to access it? I would like to see photos of her growing up. I visited her in February of 2006 and she was sleeping high in a tree while Bai Yun rested atop the grotto. I visited several times, the latest being last summer at the black and white overnight, just before she left for China.

    Moderator’s note: I couldn’t find her photo gallery, but I did find her news archives, which might be fun for you to visit. There are several images there.

  14. Great news, how is Bai Yun doing? Is she or not p j.. any more test done?

  15. What fantastic news! I wonder if the decorating diva gene has been passed on. How proud the staff at SDZ must feel at this moment. How many grandcubbies does Bai Yun have now — is it eight? So exciting to hear that conservation is working even if it is by small steps.

    Moderator’s note: I believe Bai Yun now has nine grandcubs.

  16. Such wonderful news! I’m sure you guys are as proud as peacocks. Susie will make a wonderful mom just like Bai is. :)

  17. Absolutely fantastic news about Su Lin!!! We are all so happy to hear this and proud of the work both here and in China to care for and to increase the panda population. And speaking of that, any more news about Bai Yun? :-)

    Moderator’s note: Check the newest blog, Panda: More Thermal Images.

    • Thanks, Moderator — I just saw the post when I checked back in again! 😉

      Moderator’s note: We aim to please 😉

  18. That is wonderful new to hear about Su Lin giving birth. She will be a great mom like Bai Yun.

  19. “Oh!” I exclaimed when I read this just now..and immediately tears came to my eyes…what an amazing and joyful event!

  20. OMG — I feel like a proud auntie — with huge tears in my eyes — just so excited to hear the news. Simply amazing!!!

  21. Wonderful news! Can’t wait to see some pictures!!!

    • There are photos and a marvelous video on Pandas Live on.

  22. This is very exciting news! I hear that Su Lin’s cub is a boy.

    • You are right, Lynn! According to Pandas Live On, Su Lin’s first cub is a little boy! This news came from the Chinese vets who were able to get the cub for a quick vet check. The stillborn cub was probably a little girl. We’re all proud of Su Lin, and she will be a very good mom to her little baby panda!
      Chari Mercier :)
      St. Pete, FL

  23. For those of you who would like to see mother and cub just go here chinapanda (dot)

  24. CONGRATS, SU LIN!!!!!!!!!

    Chari Mercier 😀
    St. Pete, FL

  25. Oh – this is wonderful news!!!!! Congrats to Su Lin, Bai Yun and all the wonderful people on the panda team!!

  26. Watching that video of Su with the little cub brought tears to my eyes

  27. So delighted to hear about Su Lin, just shows what good stock she comes from in Bai Yun and Gao Gao. Cannot wait to hopefully see some photos of her with her cub. First born panda of the year aswell. Way to go Su Lin!

  28. Congratulations, Su Lin! Does Yunni know that he’s A Nuncle?

    • YES! Su Lin called us and told us the good news. I was doing my ‘I am an unka’ Happy Dance for a few days now. I hope she will name him after me! Xiao Yun – Small Cloud – has a certain ring to it, don’t you?

      Peace and Love,

  29. Gosh — I was just marveling over the number of cubs that have been born from Bai Yun’s genes — she is going to single-handedly (or single-pawedly) save the pandas from extinction. How many grandcubbies does she have so far?

    Moderator’s note: I believe she now has 9 grandcubs.

    • WOW — that’s great. You go granny Bai!!

  30. You can see a video of Sui Lin giving birth on YouTube!

    SU LIN

    Yun Zi is posting on PawBook when he gets a call on PawTime, all the way from China.
    YZ:Su Lin!
    SL:Greetings, young Little Cloud. How is your training?
    YZ:It’s going great! I chopped down 2 whole bamboo trees in one swipe!
    SL:Very good! And I suppose you know Wugang?
    YZ: Yes, I think I’ve heard of him.
    SL: But I bet you haven’t met the newest member in the Gao-Bai/Gang family.
    Yun Zi lets out a big gasp. YZ: You mean?
    WG:Meet your newest nephew.
    Queen B and King Gao rush to the little BooBook and lay eyes on the cub for the first time.
    BY: Su Lin! Congratulations! Have my maternal skills come in handy?
    SL: I would be lying if I said they were not.
    GG: Are you teaching it the ways of the Gao-Bai family?
    BY:Gao, he’s a week and a half old! How come you didn’t tell us, Sue?
    SL: You did not hear abut the news? I apologize, I had assumed you had known, I heard there was a huge buzz in the States of the United.
    WG: Sue, you forgot something. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to your family in San Diego, but it’s time they knew. Sue gave birth to a second cub, too. We were excited when we learned she was having twins. The hoomans were excited, too. But the second was stillborn.
    GG:Oh, no, Su Lin, that’s horrific! You must have been crushed.
    SL: Father, wasn’t it you that once told me, when I was a little furball in the old trees, count your blessings? That is what I am doing. I know it is common for a second to be stillborn. I honestly don’t know how Hua Mei dealed with 3 sets of twins. She’s magical.
    BY: Speaking of, how is she?
    WG: We haven’t seen her in a while, but she’s in a world of her own now, what with seven cubs and three sets of twins in that.
    YZ: Nice to see you Sue. Wait, how’s Zhennie doing?
    SL:Ah, young Zhen Zhen. She is doing well, she is carrying cubs inside her belly right now. The kick might come at any time, so I am prepared to lead her through it.
    GG: Keeper Kathy’s here with dinner! Let’s see what we can make out of it!
    TBC :)