Ueno Zoo's Xiang Xiang Toddles toward Independence from Mom

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Tokyo, Nov. 13 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo's Ueno Zoo had its popular giant panda cub, Xiang Xiang, spend her time alone Tuesday morning in preparation for her independence from her mother.

The zoo will gradually increase the cub's time away from her mother, Shin Shin, to have it fully independent next month.

Xiang Xiang appeared uncomfortable initially, wandering around an exercise area. But she gradually got used to the situation and grew relaxed as usual, climbing trees and eating bamboo grasses.

Keiko Tachigara, a 47-year-old housewife from Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan, said, "Eating by herself, Xiang Xiang looked fine, but I feel sorry for her a bit."

The woman's daughter, Ayane, 13, said it was good to see Xiang Xiang fine. "I wish her good luck."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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