If you can’t get enough of that panda stuff, here’s a triple play for you. A pair of twin giant pandas were born on August 22 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Both cubs appear healthy. Pink, hairless and blind, the newborn cubs weigh just three to five ounces. Fans who want to see the newest pandas will have to try to catch a glimpse of them on the zoo’s online panda cam. If you click here, you may get a chance to observe them, since they will not be available for public viewing for approximately five months.
Much celebration went on in the zoo that day. Members of the panda team are caring for the newborns. They are swapping each cub with Mei Xiang, the momma, to allow each one to nurse, while the other is incubated to keep warm, and is bottle fed. The National Zoo tweeted out, “First born giant panda cub vet exam. This cub is vocalizing well & appears strong. #PandaStory #WeSaveSpecies.” The National Zoo is one of only four zoos in the U.S. to have pandas, which are on loan from China. Zoo officials do not yet know the gender, or the paternity, of the cubs.
Speaking of China, this week, in Ya’an, China, ten panda cubs born in 2015 were finally displayed to the public in Sichuan’s Ya’an Base on August 21. The cubs, displayed in baskets, are various ages, with the youngest, smallest pandas less than seven days old. 21 panda cubs have been cared for at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, and only one has not survived. Some of these pandas were created through artificial insemination as part of efforts to boost the numbers of that country’s unofficial national mascot.
And finally, Fu Ni, a giant panda residing in Adelaide, Australia, celebrated her ninth birthday at the Adelaide Zoo on August 23. She received special panda treats, which she delighted in thoroughly examining before eating. You can catch the antics of the Australian pandas on their PandaCam link here. With just over 1,800 giant pandas in the wild, pandas are one of the world’s most endangered creatures, according to the World Wildlife Fund.