Put your jaws around the baby's head, pick her up, and hug her
August 16, 2013 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Here's a video of a giant baby panda cub being reunited with her mother at the Taipei City Zoo.

According to Zooborns, baby panda Yuan Tsai was removed from her mother Yuan Yuan a few days after her birth on July 6. After being cared for in her early weeks of life by zookeepers and a series of reintroductions to her mother, mom and baby are now reunited.
posted by medusa (47 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Life is nice sometimes.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:28 PM on August 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is weapons grade cute.
posted by wabbittwax at 1:29 PM on August 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


If anyone has the mad skillz to tell us what the subtitles on that video are saying, I would love to know.
posted by medusa at 1:30 PM on August 16, 2013


I don't have the skillz to do anything except weep openly right now.
posted by mintcake! at 1:33 PM on August 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


That's actually a dog wearing a panda suit.
posted by w0mbat at 1:33 PM on August 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


Only way they coulda made that cuter is put some piglets and kittens with panda bear ear hats in there too.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:33 PM on August 16, 2013


mintcake!, I hear you. I started thinking about being separated from my son and was crying in no time.
posted by medusa at 1:36 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I might have watched this 5 or 6 times. And sniffled.
posted by sarcasticah at 1:37 PM on August 16, 2013


medusa, my daughter leaves for college in less than a week, and that's exactly how I felt.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:37 PM on August 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Every once in a while I wish that I had animal powers. Like a prehensile tail or hawk vision or a super sense of smell.

Today I wish I could use my mouth to pick up babies by their heads.
posted by phunniemee at 1:39 PM on August 16, 2013 [14 favorites]


I like how there are subtitles for the whimpering of the cub.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:43 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Concrete and steel bars ... nothing else in sight. I get that this is the back room at a zoo, and there is no need to 'prettify' the environment for the customers, but is there no way to make it somewhat more livable for the creatures themselves?

Such an environment might take more effort to keep clean etc., but it's not like these guys are short of labour, or money, or anything it seems ...
posted by woodblock100 at 1:44 PM on August 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


Concrete and steel bars ... nothing else in sight. I get that this is the back room at a zoo, and there is no need to 'prettify' the environment for the customers, but is there no way to make it somewhat more livable for the creatures themselves?

Yeah, my first reaction was Why are the pandas living in Cell Block H?
posted by JanetLand at 1:48 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


If that baby panda had sneezed, scaring the mom, it would have been the best video ever.
posted by perhapses at 2:01 PM on August 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Put your jaws around the baby's head, pick her up, and hug her

Worst Hokey-Pokey instructions ever.
posted by flarbuse at 2:02 PM on August 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I'm hoping they have slightly nicer outdoor quarters, because man those are grim even for zoo enclosures. Not even a scrap of straw to nest in? Not a single object to play or interact with?
posted by tavella at 2:05 PM on August 16, 2013


I agree - this seems unnecessarily bare and brightly lit. I've worked at a bear sanctuary for rescued dancing bears in Eastern Europe, and the first view of the mother here made me think "pacing" straight away, a stressed repetitive behaviour.

It was cute when mum gave the baby a hug, but it doesn't "feel" like they are in a great environment. But this impression is from a short, heavily edited video.
posted by sarahdal at 2:06 PM on August 16, 2013


From the Zooborns link:
About a month after Yuan Tsai's July 6th-birth, Zookeepers began to carefully conduct a series of introductions between mother and baby. For the safety of the little one, the sessions took place in a controlled environment, in case the mother did not respond well to her reintroduced cub.
So presumably this isn't the usual panda living quarters, which is good to know.
posted by Catseye at 2:21 PM on August 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


For those of you who (like me) were wondering how mainland Chinese pandas ended up in Taiwan, apparently they were a controversial diplomatic gift in 2008.
posted by Johnny Assay at 2:22 PM on August 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hearing David Plotz rant about giant pandas has discoloured my interpretation of any video of them.

You guys see cute.

I see a mother trying to eat her young, and when that fails, trying to smother it as it cries for help, it attempts to escape but is foiled, and no one even attempts to intervene until it is almost too late. After she gives up her progeny for a couple licks of bee spittle, the cub needs to be put on life support in the hopes of somehow recovering from its trauma.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:36 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fuzzy-wuzzy!
posted by Artw at 2:47 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ha I posted this in a MeTa thread yesterday basically daring anyone to post it here despite it's guaranteed virality.

It's so awesome.
posted by spitbull at 2:51 PM on August 16, 2013


It's all good, sparklemotion.

This is the first giant panda born in Taiwan, so the mother necessarily has no experience raising cubs. That's why the zoo staff were worried at first.

The end of the video was actually the earliest point in time, when they used some honey to catch the mother's attention and snatch the cub. After some time in an incubator, the zoo staff reintroduced them.

The mother clearly recognized her baby. She was pacing around the cage with agitation because the cub was out of reach. As soon as they opened the gate, she was in there bonding with the cub, letting it know her smell. After that, her efforts were mostly dedicated towards showing the cub where to find a nipple. After it finally got the idea it starting sucking and the cries subsided. Then the final shot is both of them sleeping together, looking pretty much at ease.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:54 PM on August 16, 2013 [7 favorites]


That's actually a dog wearing a panda suit.

Or a cabbit.
posted by dobbs at 2:55 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's all good

You realize that that's what Big Panda wants you to say, right?
posted by sparklemotion at 2:56 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I watched this with mu three year old daughter - loveliness3
posted by Mario Speedwagon at 3:04 PM on August 16, 2013


What? This is how my mom raised me, and it didn't do me any harm!

In fact, she still drags me around by my skull if I get out of line.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:00 PM on August 16, 2013


Anyone know if this baby is out and visible in Taipei zoo? I'll be going to Taipei in about six weeks and it'd be pretty special to see a little baby panda. I assume it'll be bigger by then but, you know, still not full size.
posted by town of cats at 4:18 PM on August 16, 2013


I'm just sitting here crying, remembering my son when he was a newborn. Crazy that watching a panda with her cub would remind me of my own experience as a new mom. The bond between mom and baby is an amazing thing, regardless of your species.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 4:34 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


What? This is how my mom raised me, and it didn't do me any harm!

In fact, she still drags me around by my skull if I get out of line.


Look, the skull dragging is fine, but I'm still a little bitter about the time my mom let a bunch of strangers kidnap me after they distracted her by smearing honey on her face.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:40 PM on August 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


I wanna spoon feed a panda bear.
posted by Space Kitty at 4:45 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like to add, I didn't drag my kid around with my mouth, but only because his head was too big.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 4:45 PM on August 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anyone know if this baby is out and visible in Taipei zoo? I'll be going to Taipei in about six weeks and it'd be pretty special to see a little baby panda.

Alas. The Zooborns update (second link above) was posted yesterday, and it says:
The cub has been named Yuan Tsai, and although she will not appear before the public for another three months, many families flocked to Taipei Zoo's recent baby shower in celebration of the first panda born in Taiwan.
posted by mykescipark at 4:50 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess there is precedent for baby yoga.
posted by munchingzombie at 5:24 PM on August 16, 2013


I wanna spoon a baby panda bear.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:26 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ok so this is exactly the supercute blunt political metaphor Bejing had been planning all along
posted by Bwithh at 5:46 PM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Concrete and steel bars ... nothing else in sight. I get that this is the back room at a zoo, and there is no need to 'prettify' the environment for the customers, but is there no way to make it somewhat more livable for the creatures themselves?

Yeah, my first reaction was Why are the pandas living in Cell Block H?


You could always just look for pictures of the Taipei Zoo to see what the animal enclosures are like, though zoos can be pretty depressing, even the nice ones.
posted by peripathetic at 6:52 PM on August 16, 2013


"If anyone has the mad skillz to tell us what the subtitles on that video are saying, I would love to know."

So tempted to go through and translate it all, but sooooo much more tired... Basically, the subtitles are just describing what's going on. "Yuanzai is tired out and has stopped crying; Yuanyuan is also exhausted from caressing Yuanzai." "At first, Yuanyuan isn't moved by the temptation of honey, but all tired out, she's unable to resist in the end." That kind of thing.
posted by jiawen at 7:55 PM on August 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, the Taibei City Zoo is quite good. They have very expansive, natural-seeming habitats for the animals. I doubt they'd keep their prize pandas solely in concrete cages.
posted by jiawen at 7:59 PM on August 16, 2013


Really appreciate it, jiawen.
posted by mintcake! at 1:13 AM on August 17, 2013


Firstly: fuck zoos. Just for the sake of fairness though, I really highly doubt this is where the panda spends any major time. The place it was being kept in the video struck me as an enclosure for times like these when they need to have the panda in a much more controlled environment in order to do medical procedures/check ups or film horrifically cute things like this to unleash upon the unsuspecting public. Bastards...
posted by NoRelation at 2:42 AM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yuanzai returns to the side of Yuanyuan
Bright and early after Yuanzai has drunk some milk
the babycare workers are then going to take [her] out of the incubator and return her to her mother's side
The scene is filled with an air of anticipation
It's unknown what response Yuanyuan will have to the long-separated Yuanzai
[0:21]The babycare workers first place Yuanzai before the grating of Yuanyuan's pen
to let [her] see Yuanzai and get her accustomed to the smell
following that they will separate Yuanyuan outside the delivery chamber
It seems that she knows something is about to happen
Pacing back and forth
On the other end of the delivery pen
the babycare workers very carefully gather Yuanzai up
take her into the delivery room on the floor
As soon as she sees Yuanzai, Yuanyuan gets close to the bars and walks back and forth
[0:59] Once all the workers and all preparations are in place
the babycare workers open the door of the delivery chamber's bars
With held breath and rapt attention, everyone nervously watches Yuanyuan's reaction to Yuanzai
They just see Yuanyuan unable to keep herself from charging into the delivery room
Being out of practice, she lightly grasps Yuanzai's head in her mouth and embraces her
At first, apparently because of today's unfamiliar bed,
Yuanzai keeps crying
And Yuanyuan is just like the mom she was when she was taking care of the baby herself in the nursery room
Faced with this unceasingly crying little tot
she doesn't know what measures to take
She can only first try to hold Yuanzai tightly
Yuanyuan sometimes lies down, sometimes sits to get Yuanzai to stop crying
After repeated tries
she finally finds a style of embrace suited to both
[2:08]Yuanzai also finds mom's nipple, and is satisfyingly suckling milk
After a little while, the bear turns over next to her mother [? 熊仰人翻 is causing me some translation trouble]
Yuanzai is tired enough to no longer cry
And Yuanyuan is also extremely exhausted from placating Yuanzai
She sleeps next to Yuanzai
Everyone on the scene breathes a sigh of relief
and can't stop themselves from smiling at this picture
Mom, baby and babycare workers on the scene are all tired out
[2:40]In order to not get Yuanyuan too overworked
and to give her and Yuanzai some time to get used to each other
the Zoo will temporarily not let Yuanzai stay in the same room with mom on a constant basis
And will instead bring her back to mom's side at set times every day
In order to take Yuanzai out, the babycare workers have brought honey to attract Yuanyuan's attention
They're getting ready to take Yuanzai out
At first Yuanyuan is unmoved by the attraction of honey
But, because she's too tuckered out, she finally can't resist
She finally moves her roly-poly bottom [workers: "So good! So good!"]
allowing the babycare workers to smoothly get Yuanzai out
Returned to the incubator, Yuanzai immediately falls asleep, "four paws to the sky"
[3:31]The return of Yuanzai to her mother's embrace has already had its first steps of success

That's my quickie translation.

"Babycare workers" is the best I could do -- the term 保育員 could work equally well as 'babysitters' or 'conservation officer' here.
posted by jiawen at 7:17 AM on August 17, 2013 [10 favorites]


Distracting Mom with honey to take away her baby :( :( :(
posted by estlin at 7:41 AM on August 17, 2013


Jiawen, thanks!
posted by medusa at 11:18 AM on August 17, 2013


I guess the whole thing was chronological. And that honey trick works every time.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:02 PM on August 17, 2013


Bears, man...
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on August 17, 2013


Easy as stealing a baby with some candy.
posted by floam at 3:57 PM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


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