Pitfalls of Panda Pregnancy: Why 14 Cubs in China Are So Remarkable
What’s cuter than a panda cub? Fourteen cubs sharing an oversized crib at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China.
Researchers wearing blue surgical gowns, hairnets and face masks presented the furry cubs to the world Tuesday as they gave an update on the recent panda baby boom. A total of 20 cubs were born to pandas from the research base between July 10 and Aug. 30, according to Huang Xiangming, chief of the animal management division there.
Seventeen of those cubs are still alive, Huang told the China Daily newspaper. Two of those cubs are twins born at Zoo Atlanta on July 15 and are doing well (you can follow their progress on the zoo’s blog, which includes a webcam). Another cub was born in Spain.
The remaining 14 cubs are at the research base in Chengdu, capital of China’s Sichuan province. The biggest weighs nearly 9 pounds and the smallest is only 1.5 pounds, according to the BBC.
The sight of 14 cubs in one place is striking not just for its overwhelming cuteness but because pandas are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. (It’s not so easy for them to breed in their natural habitat either — only about 1,600 are left in the wild, according to the most recent estimate from the World Wildlife Foundation.)