Photo Credit: imaginechina
A cuddly caboodle of baby giant pandas made their first public appearance at a breeding center in Ya’an, Sichuan province of China his past Friday!
The 10 panda cubs were all born at the center earlier this year and range in age from one week to two months. Lucky visitors who were there last week were said to be “thrilled” to see the new arrivals, who were put on display in wicker baskets at a safe distance from tourists.
According to Luo Bo, the deputy minister of Animal Management at China Conservation and Research Centre, there has been a healthy boom in the birth of panda cubs, especially the number of twin cubs, this year.
So far, there have been seven sets of twins born this year – the most twins born in a year on the centre’s record.
This is definitely reason to celebrate as giant panda cubs are extremely rare with female pandas only in estrus – that is, ready to accept a male and mate – for around two to three days a year.
Twin cubs have a better chance of survival in centres like these, as in the wild the mother panda will give her milk to only one cub and the other usually dies.
More problems occur when pandas are in captivity, as male pandas have been known to lose their sex drive, forcing scientists to try extreme methods including artificial insemination, giving them Viagra and showing them videos of other pandas mating.