1. ITV Report

Giant panda cub takes his first small steps

The yet-to-be named cub's life in captivity will help to conserve his species, scientists say. Photo: APTN

The little breakaway star of San Diego Zoo is growing fast - and melting hearts - as part of a giant panda captive breeding programme aimed at conserving the endangered species.

Barely 1,600 giant pandas are left in the wild, researchers say, leaving scientists to breed cubs for study they say will help protect future generations.

Veterinarians say the three-month-old cub has already mastered crawling. Credit: APTN

The latest arrival was born in late July but will not be named until he is 100 days old in keeping with a Chinese panda-naming tradition.

He will be named at a special ceremony later in the month. Credit: APTN

He was one of six furry cubs born to panda mum Bai Yun (White Cloud), four of whom have been moved to China to help its giant panda conservation.

But remaining in California, San Diego's three-month-old cub - who will be named in a special ceremony on November 13 after a public vote - is learning to stand on his own four legs: