A reason to celebrate for Japan and the wildlife enthusiasts all over the world, after two giant pandas have been recently born at the country’s oldest zoo. The twin cubs were born a few days ago at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.
A vulnerable species, giant pandas (just as their little cousins) are extremely difficult to breed, whether in the wild or at the zoos. So, naturally every time when one giant panda (let alone two) is born is good reason to celebrate. The tiny pandas were born on Wednesday from mother Shin Shin and father Ri Ri – both 15-year-old. Shin Shin became a mom for the second time after giving birth to Xiang Xiang – a female born in 2017.
So far it is too early to tell if the two cubs are either a male or a female, and they haven’t been named yet neither. When born, giant panda cubs are extremely small weighing less than five ounces.
“Baby giant pandas are very small when they’re born,”zoo director Yutaka Fukuda said. “The staff will be watching over them around the clock for a while to make sure they will be growing healthily.”
Another extremely unusual thing is that giant pandas gave birth to one cub, so taking care of two at once would an extremely difficult challenge. Because of this, only one of the twin cubs will stay with its mom, while the another one will be kept (for a time) into an incubator under the supervision of the zoo’s staff.
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 27, 2021
“It is said that in most cases, when twins are born, only one will grow up,” Ueno Zoo’s spokesperson, Naoya Ohashi, said. “In order to raise both of them, we need to have one panda always be held by Shin Shin. We will have them take turns to nurse while the other one will be in an incubator. Once one panda finishes nursing, we will place that one in the incubator, and let the one who hasn’t nursed yet be together with its mom.”