First baby panda born in France makes debut public appearance

Nine-year-old Huan Huan and her male partner Yuan Zi arrived at Beauval Zoo in January 2012 on a 10-year loan from China after intense negotiations between Paris and Beijing

Nine-year-old Huan Huan and her male partner Yuan Zi arrived at Beauval Zoo in January 2012 on a 10-year loan from China after intense negotiations between Paris and Beijing

A playful baby panda has been the star attraction this weekend at Beauval Zoo, south of Paris.

Now aged just four months, he stunned visitors to Beauval with his adorable antics in his first public appearance on Saturday.

Mme Macron was present at the baby's baptism in early December, where his name, which translates as "the accomplishment of a dream", was officially revealed.

"We got up at three in the morning". We felt we took part in a historic moment. "My son absolutely wanted to see the cub".

Zoo veterinarian Baptiste Mulot said the cub had been brought to the enclosure over the past 10 days to familiarise himself with the surroundings.

Reproduction between pandas is notoriously hard as the female pandas are only fertile for a couple of days per year.

A female and male mate arrived in Beauval in 2012 after high-level negotiations between Paris and Beijing, but Yuan Meng was conceived through artificial insemination.

Pandas were declared an endangered animal in the 1980s, however.

Visitors queued outside for hours for a chance to see the little one, whose "godmother" is Brigitte Macron, wife of the President Emmanuel Macron.

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