Tokyo:- A Japanese zoo celebrated the first birth of a baby panda in five years Monday, with the tiny cub small enough to fit in the palm of a human hand. Eleven-year-old mum Shin Shin gave birth just before noon, officials at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo said in a statement. Pandas are born pink, hairless and weighing around 100 grams (three-and-a-half ounces) - so small it can be difficult to determine their sex. “There have been cases where the sex of a panda has been found to be wrongly determined several years after its birth,” a zoo spokesman told AFP amid the panda-monium. “It could take a while before we know.”

Shin Shin, who mated with male Ri Ri in February, had another baby in 2012 - the first time at the zoo in 24 years, but the cub died from pneumonia six days later. Footage from a camera inside the panda enclosure showed the moment of birth, when the screeching noises of the tiny baby could clearly be heard as Shin Shin scooped it up with her mouth. Zoo officials were not immediately able to give exact details about the size and weight of the cub as the proud mum, who tips the scales at 110 kilograms (240 pounds), protectively cuddled her new-born baby. “Most of the time the mother has been cradling her baby so we haven’t been able to measure it precisely,” a spokeswoman told AFP. “It’s almost impossible to see the baby when she’s being hugged by mum but we estimate it at about 150 grams.”