Yuan Zai (giant panda)

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Yuan Zai in April 2014 on a branch Yuan Zai Taipei Zoo.jpg
Yuan Zai in April 2014 on a branch

Yuan Zai (Chinese :圓仔; pinyin :Yuánzǎi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī :Îⁿ-á) is a female giant panda born at the Taipei Zoo on July 6, 2013. She is the first panda cub born in Taiwan, to parents Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan by artificial insemination. [1] [2] As Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan were sent to Taiwan from People's Republic of China in exchange for two Formosan sika deer and two Taiwan serows, [3] Yuan Zai does not need to be returned. [4] [5]


The female baby was first nicknamed "Yuan Zai" by the zookeepers soon after birth. On October 26, at the zoo's 99th anniversary ceremony, the baby panda was officially named Yuan Zai after a naming activity that saw 60% of the votes go to the cub's nickname. The name "Yuan Zai" can be interpreted variously as "the little round thing", "rice ball", or "(Yuan) Yuan's child". On the same day, she was also presented an honorary citizen's card. [6]

Media and public attention

Yuan Zai was separated from her mother Yuan Yuan for her first month due to an inadvertent injury inflicted upon her by the first time mother. [7] The two were reunited on 13 August 2013. [8]

On January 6, 2014, Yuan Zai made her public debut at the giant panda house located in the zoo. [9] [10]

In March 2014, Yuan Zai was featured in another popular video showing Yuan Yuan towing the baby back to bed.

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  1. Tai, Ya-chen; Liu, Shi-yih; Hsiao, Scully (7 July 2013). "Panda newborn to meet public within 6 months". Central News Agency. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  2. "Yuan Zai celebrates her second birthday". Taipei Times. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  3. "Deer, goats as gifts from Taiwan arrive at Weihai". China Daily. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  4. Low, Y. F.; Liu, Chien-pang (2 July 2016). "Taipei Zoo throws birthday party for Yuan Zai". Central News Agency. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  5. Liang, Pei-chi; Hsu, Elizabeth (6 July 2018). "Giant panda Yuan Zai celebrates 5th birthday at Taipei Zoo". Central News Agency. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  6. Mo, Yan-chih (27 October 2013). "Panda cub officially named Yuan Zai, gets citizen's card". Taipei Times. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  7. "Giant panda cub Yuan Zai unveiled in Taiwan's Taipei zoo". BBC. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  8. "Thousands celebrate birthday of first Taiwan-born panda cub". Agence France Presse. 6 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  9. "First Taiwan-born panda cub Yuan Zai makes public debut". Hindustan Times. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  10. "First Taiwan-born panda cub Yuan Zai on show at zoo". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 6 January 2014.