Panda Spotlight – Bai Yun / Post by Pandas International
Since her cub has been such a prominent face in panda news since his birth 11 weeks ago at the San Diego Zoo, we thought it was about time that Mom got a bit of the spotlight.
Bai Yun, whose name translates to White Cloud, was born September 7, 1991, and has the distinction of being the first successful birth of a giant panda at the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center. Bai Yun’s mother Dong Dong was wild-caught and her father is Pan Pan, who has sired many Giant Pandas. She has been at the San Diego Zoo since September 10, 1996.
In the spring of 1999, Bai Yun was artificially inseminated with sperm from Shi Shi, her male companion at the zoo at that time. On August 21, 1999, Bai Yun gave birth to her first cub, Hua Mei, who is the first giant panda born in the United States to survive to adulthood.
Bai Yun has since given birth to five other cubs, Mei Sheng (2003), Su Lin (2005), Zhen Zhen (2007), Yun Zi (2009), and a male cub nicknamed “Sausage” by zookeepers, born on July 29, 2012, all via natural mating with Gao Gao. Bai Yun and Gao Gao are considered the most reproductively successful panda parents in captivity. At 20 years old, Bai Yun is the second oldest Panda on record to have given birth to a healthy cub. She has proven, once again, to be a fabulous mother and her cub is thriving under her care.
According to her keepers, Bai Yun is curious, unpredictable, and mischievous. She enjoys anything scented with cloves or pine, and men’s cologne!