France’s first panda cub makes debut appearance

Panda cub Yuan Meng, which means “the realization of a wish” or “accomplishment of a dream,” eats bamboos with her mother Huan Huan at the Beauval Zoo, in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, France, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018.(AP)
Updated 13 January 2018
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France’s first panda cub makes debut appearance

SAINT-AIGNAN: France’s first panda cub made its debut public appearance Saturday, five months after its birth, to rapturous crowds — some of whom had traveled hours to see the fluffy male.
Yuan Meng, which means “making a dream come true” in Chinese, was introduced into his new enclosure in Beauval zoo in central France along with his mother as adoring onlookers ringed the site.
“We got up at 3:00 in the morning. My son absolutely wanted to see the cub,” said Delphine who had traveled from the Paris region.
“We felt we took part in a historic moment. It was very moving,” she said.
Zoo veterinarian Baptiste Mulot said the cub had been brought to the enclosure over the past 10 days to familiarise himself with the surroundings.
Panda reproduction, in captivity or in the wild, is notoriously difficult because the female panda is only in heat once a year for about 48 hours.
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.
China has dispatched its national treasure to only about a dozen countries, using the animal as a symbol of close relations.
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 get life sentence in S.Africa ‘cannibalism case’

Updated 13 December 2018
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Two get life sentence in S.Africa ‘cannibalism case’

  • Police refused to believe his claims until he took them to a house where more body parts were found
JOHANNESBURG: Two South African men accused of cannibalism were given life sentences for murder on Wednesday, with the judge saying they were guilty of “the most heinous crime,” local media reported.
Sitting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, judge Peter Olsen sentenced Nino Mbatha, 33, and Lungisani Magubane, 32, to life in prison for the killing of Zanele Hlatshwayo last year, the Witness newspaper said.
Mbatha, a traditional healer, was arrested after handing himself in at a police station in Estcourt, a town in KwaZulu-Natal province.
He was carrying a bag containing a human leg and a hand, telling officers he was “tired of eating human flesh.”
Police refused to believe his claims until he took them to a house where more body parts were found.
A third man was acquitted on Wednesday. Seven people were initially arrested.
At earlier hearings in Estcourt, angry residents had gathered outside the courthouse to protest against the grisly murder.
South Africa has no direct law against cannibalism, but mutilating a corpse and being in possession of human tissue are criminal offenses.