CHENGDU, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- A giant panda born in captivity gave birth to a cub in a semi-wild environment without human interference in a panda base in Ya'an City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, on Sunday.
Through surveillance cameras in the semi-wild training center of the Bifengxia Panda Base, researchers were able to observe the mother, Princess, give birth to a cub at 1:46 a.m. in the wild garden full of weeds.
Huang Yan, deputy chief engineer of the panda base, said on Monday that five to six cubs were born every year under the semi-wild training program, which started in 2010 and is aimed at preparing captive giant pandas for going back to the wild.
"Under the program, we select qualified cubs and release the baby pandas to the wild along with their moms, so that they have a better chance of survival there," Huang said.
Princess, 11, was the first giant panda in the world to be brought up by people right after its birth. Her mother refused to feed her.
Similar problems arose when Princess delivered her first twin cubs in 2003. Experts used toys and VCDs to teach her how to nurse her cubs.
Already experienced in labor, Princess on Sunday held the cub and licked its body skillfully after delivery.
Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species. About 1,600 of the animals live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan, while more than 300 live in captivity.