America has its first panda twins in 26 years. The tiny pair were born to mother Lun Lun, a 15-year-old giant panda, at Zoo Atlanta on Monday, the first arriving at 6:21 p.m. and the second at 6:23 p.m. The zoo did not immediately know the gender of the cubs.
The twins are the first for Lun Lun, who has two other offspring at Zoo Atlanta, and are the product of artificial insemination. Their father is 15-year-old Yang Yang, also a resident at Zoo Atlanta.
The pink-colored twins — black patches of hair will begin to appear in a week or two — were separated shortly after birth, with one staying with Lun Lun and the other being cared for in the zoo’s nursery. The zoo said twins typically weigh less than single-born panda cubs with a high risk of mortality. A single panda cub typically weighs just 3 to 5 ounces at birth, according to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.
‘Mostly in China’
Twins are not unusual for pandas, Zoo Atlanta said in a statement, but in the wild the mother will usually only care for one of them. That is why they were separated, but the zoo said they may rotate them in Lun Lun’s care over the next few months.
Fewer than 2,000 giant pandas remain on the planet, according to the Smithsonian. Of these, 300 are in zoos and breeding centers, mostly in China, and about 1,600 remain in the wild in mountain forests of central China.
Do you find these baby pandas cute? Have you seen one up close?
Source: Brad Lendon | CNN
Image: Daily News America