It has a been a week since first-time Giant Panda mother Jia Jia gave birth and she appears to be settling in nicely to her new role as mum to a cub, according to Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
Trisha Tay, the lead panda caregiver, shared that Jia Jia has shown great maternal instincts and is improving in her mothering skills each day, despite being especially tired for the first few days after giving birth. Jia Jia has grown to be very attentive of the cub and responds to it vocalisations and tries to nurse it.
Taking on the Mantle of Motherhood
Giving further insight to the birth of the panda cub last week, Trisha shared that she was initially a bit apprehensive about how Jia Jia, a first-time mum, would react to the arrival of the cub. There was uncertainty as to whether Jia Jia would be forcefully aggressive towards or abandon the cub.
Thankfully, their fears were allayed when they saw Jia Jia pick up the cub gently after birth and start to care for it as a mother would.
On a funnier note, Trisha shared that watching Jia Jia learn to cope as a new mum also reminded her of her own days as a new mum with a baby.
“Taking care of Jia Jia and seeing her struggle with motherhood is kind of like … the days when I first had a newborn baby and had to struggle with waking up and tending to the needs of the baby. I see that happening for Jia Jia; on days where she is really tired and the cub calls, she will give a huge sigh, “Huuhhh…. it’s time to wake up and tend to the cub.”
Well, parenthood is a long journey and it is only just beginning for Jia Jia. We are glad that both she and the cub are well and that she is growing into her new maternal role.
Watch Jia Jia and the cub interacting in the video below.
Video courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.