Prague, Czech Republic – A historic moment was marked at the Prague Zoological Garden as a pangolin, on loan from Taipei Zoo, successfully gave birth. The birth of the pangolin pup marks the first time a pangolin has been successfully bred in Europe.
The female pangolin, named Run Hou Tang (潤喉糖, “cough drop”) and her mate Gun Bao (果寶, “precious fruit”) arrived at the Prague Zoological Garden in April 2022, as part of the pangolin loan program between Taipei and Prague after they became sister cities in 2020.
The news of Run Hou Tang’s pregnancy was announced in October, and on Thursday, February 2nd, Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib announced the arrival of the newborn pup. The pup weighed 135 grams and is described as a “rare and precious fruit” by the Mayor.
However, the first week is especially risky for pangolin pups and the public is being asked to keep their fingers crossed for the newborn’s health and well-being. Pangolins are not native to Europe and the climate can be challenging for Prague Zoo, but the zoo is working closely with Taipei Zoo to provide the best possible care for the pup.
As pangolins are not commonly found in Europe, the zoo must provide a specially designed feed that replicates the ants and termites found in their natural diet. The zookeepers must also pay close attention to the habitat and comfort level as pangolins easily get anxious.
Taipei Zoo staff got to see the newborn pup via video conference on Thursday, but the conference was kept short to allow the zookeepers in Prague to focus on caring for the pup. Taipei Zoo is working closely with Prague Zoo to assist with the care and raising of the pangolin pup.
This historic moment marks a successful intercity diplomacy between Taipei and Prague and highlights the importance of preserving endangered species. The public is being encouraged to support the efforts of the two zoos in caring for the pangolin and ensuring its survival for future generations.