Ueno panda shows signs of pregnancy

Kyodo

Giant panda Shin Shin at Ueno Zoo appears to be pregnant, a zoo official said Tuesday, spurring hopes the Tokyo landmark might see its first cub since 1988.

If the male panda Ri Ri and Shin Shin produce a cub, it will be the first time the nation’s oldest zoo, established in 1882, has succeeded in the natural breeding of pandas. The pair were leased from China in February 2011.

Ueno Zoo will suspend public viewings of Shin Shin starting July 3 and observe her carefully, as pandas often show false gestation signs.

Three baby pandas were born at Ueno Zoo through artificial insemination before 1989.