Hua Zui Ba gave birth just before dawn on Wednesday to a perfect pink cub, weighing 180 grams.
Keepers suspected she was pregnant and in recent weeks the mother’s loss of appetite, lethargy and change in hormonal levels seemed to confirm the imminent arrival.
When she started licking her paws it was a sign that she was about to give birth and four minutes later Hua Zui Ba gave birth to her new cub catching it in her paws and bringing it to her face to have a closer look.
After a quick clean up, she tucked her baby in her lap.
The birth was caught on camera:
It is the fourth giant panda cub bred in the Madrid zoo after twins Po and De De arrived in 2010 and Xing Bao was born in 2013.
“We think she is a female,” said a statement from the zoo. “She is well formed, very active and has excellent vital signs.”
She could be heard loudly mewing throughout the examination by specialist panda medics.