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Wednesday, 11th July 2012
In General Japan News,

Tragedy as baby panda dies

Tragedy struck Japan today (July 11th) when a much-loved baby giant panda died at Ueno Zoo after suffering from pneumonia.

The male cub of Shin Shin and Ri Ri is believed to have contracted the condition after inhaling some of his mother's milk.

He was found resting on her chest and failing to breath, with zoo officials confirming within an hour that the animal had passed. 

The unnamed panda was the first to be born in the zoo in 24 years, with the country celebrating his birth just six days ago.

His parents are on loan from China at a cost of $1 million, with the zoo taking them on last year.

Pandas are renowned for finding it difficult to conceive, particularly when they are in captivity, accentuating the tragedy of this sad end for the creature.

Chief panda keeper Yukata Fukuda said: "They peacefully spent the night and the baby was doing just fine this morning. It happened so suddenly, and it's such a pity."

According to the BBC, Ueno Zoo's director Toshimitsu Doi was in tears when he delivered the news to reporters at a press conference. 

Posted by Susan Ballion