Thais are celebrating the birth of a baby panda to its parents Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui (on loan from China since 2003) in the Chiang Mai Zoo.
The baby is declared healthy by experts. The mother of the panda baby is also certified as healthy.
Staff were not aware that 7-year-old female mother was pregnant as there were no signs to indicate so even through the zoo personnel had artificially inseminated her on 18 Feb 2009.
The mother had appeared anxious and did not want humans near it.
The baby panda let out a loud screech as long as it was born.
As the baby is still delicate, its gender will not be checked until a week after birth
The baby will be viewable publicly after it has grown stronger. This is expected to take approximately three months.
For now, it can be viewed inside the cage via closed circuit cameras.
This event is expected to give a big help to tourism in the northern province.
The Tourism Authority is hoping that tourist arrivals should increase at least 10 per cent in 2009.
According to the Thai media, 5 million tourists visited Chiang Mai, generating Bt38 billion in revenue.
As for the Chiang Mai Zoo, according to the authorities, it receives 3,000 visitors on a typical weekend.
The authorities are expected to launch pandacub tourism campaigns through the marketing of souvenirs.
Other than Thailand, the United States and Japan are the only countries outside the panda’s original birthplace to succeed in panda artificial insemination.
MSNBC, "Surprise panda cub born at zoo in Thailand" dated 27 May 2009 in the MSNBC website [downloaded on 30 May 2009], available athttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30960270/
The Nation, "PANDA MIRACLE Panda cub expected to boost tourism
By The Nation" dated 30 May 2009 in the Nation website [downloaded on 30 May 2009], available at