CHIANG MAI - The director of the Chiang Mai Zoo said on Thursday that the panda Lin Hui was likely to give birth in the next few days, judging by her behaviour and physical condition.
Director Nipon Vichairat quoted veterinarians as reporting that the vagina of the female giant panda was covered with liquid indicating that it was about to deliver her baby in the next few days.
Besides, the level of its progesterone, the hormone that maintained pregnancy, was dropping significantly and Lin Hui was preparing her nest more often and for longer each time.
Lin Hui was also eating a lot and rested as long as 10 hours at a time. She often licked her vulva her breasts were lactating, Mr Nipon said.
The zoo's management has already prepared a nursery equipped with an incubator, a scale and a milk bottle steriliser and deployed veterinarians and carers around the clock, he said.
Officials believed the artificial insemination on the 16-year-old giant panda about four months ago was successful. A new cub would be the second born in Thailand after Lin Ping, also born of Lin Hui, in May 2009.
Lin Hui and her mate Xuang Xuang have been on loan from China since 2003.
Chiang Mai Zoo director Nipon Vichairat inspects the giant-panda nursery on Thursday. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)