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Willful Panda Gives Birth in Captivity
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A giant panda notorious for having spent four and half years on the run after escaping captivity in Sichuan Province, gave birth on Saturday, just eight months after she was recaptured.

Bai Xue's female cub, conceived by artificial insemination, was born at 8:50 AM at the China Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The baby weighed in at 160 grams, according to the center's head Zhang Hemin.

"The birth, the first among captive giant pandas this year, has turned a celebrity known for her unruliness into a heroine once again," Zhang said.

Both 16-year-old Bai Xue, meaning Snow White in Chinese, and her daughter are healthy.

"It was unexpectedly good news for us," Zhang said. "We didn't expect her to become pregnant and give birth when we inseminated her in April this year, as she is getting quite old and has not totally regained her strength after returning to the center."

Bai Xue escaped from the Wolong centre in 2001 and was not found until November 2005 when she wandered into a workers' housing complex at the center.

Born in the wild, Bai Xue was found injured in the Qinling Mountains of northwestern Shaanxi Province in 1993.

Bai Xue was sent to Wolong in 1995 for breeding research. The giant panda mothered five cubs in three births before she escaped in 2001, Zhang said.

The father of Bai Xue's new cub is a giant panda named Shi Shi, who lives in a breeding base in Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan.

Related Story:

'Snow White' Lost in the Woods

(China Daily July 24, 2006)

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