Giant Panda At Zoo Atlanta Gives Birth To Twins

Giant Panda At Zoo Atlanta Gives Birth To TwinsAmerica 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.

‘Artificial insemination’

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

Giant Panda Cub Dies At National Zoo

A giant panda cub born one week ago at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. has died.

Panda keepers and volunteers heard a distress call from the unnamed cub’s mother, Mei Xiang, at 9:17 a.m., today, the zoo said in a statement. The zoo’s Panda Cam, which has for 18 years allowed people around the world to watch the bears in their habitat, was turned off. Veterinarians were able to safely retrieve the panda an hour later, according to the zoo. CPR and other life-saving measures were attempted, however the cub failed to respond, zoo officials said.

The cause of death is still undetermined. Veterinarians said the cub was in “good body condition,” weighing in at just under 100 grams and that there were no visible signs of trauma or infection. The unnamed cub was born last Sunday night and has not been seen by the public.

The birth was Mei Xiang’s second as the result of artificial insemination. She gave birth to her first cub, Tai Shan, in 2005. Tian Tian, 15, is the father of both of Mei Xiang’s cubs. Mei Xiang, 14, has had five consecutive pseudopregnancies Tian Tian since 2007 and had a less than a 10 percent chance of being pregnant after so many failed attempts. With only 300 pandas left in breeding zones and zoos around the world, Mei Xiang and the father of the new cub have become public symbols for endangered species and conservation efforts.

U.S.-China relations have been never been simple. But panda diplomacy is not a new tactic in strengthening international ties. Since the Tang Dynasty from A.D. 618 to 907, China has been sending its national treasure to other countries as a symbol of gratitude.

Do you like pandas? What do you think caused the death of the 1-week-old panda? Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: The Guardian