France's first panda cub makes debut appearance

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Brigitte Macron got a shock when she went to name the first panda born in France

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Brigitte Macron got a shock when she went to name the first panda born in France

France's first giant panda cub has made its public debut 5 months after its birth.

Last month he was named Yuan Meng, which means "making a dream come true" in Mandarin Chinese.

In keeping with his name, Yuan Meng's appearance meant some zoo visitors had their wishes fulfilled. Hundreds of people were seen queuing at the entrance around 9 am, an hour before the zoo opened.

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But the number of pandas worldwide has rebounded since the black-and-white bear was declared an endangered animal in the 1980s, thanks to efforts to protect it and its habitat.

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

Two Chinese zookeepers are now staying in Beauval to train their French colleagues on how to take care of the baby panda.

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

"It is very important", said another visitor, Patricia.

There are fewer than 2,000 pandas living in the wild, while around 400 live in captivity, according to China's State Forestry Administration.

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