A reason to celebrate for Japan and wildlife enthusiasts worldwide is after two giant pandas have been recently born at the country’s oldest zoo. Twin cubs were born a few days ago at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.
As a vulnerable species, giant pandas (as well as their small cousins) are extremely difficult to breed, whether in the wild or at zoos. So naturally, every time a giant panda (let alone two) is born is a good reason to celebrate. The little pandas were born on Wednesday to mother Shin Shin and father Ri Ri – both 15 years old. Shin Shin became a mother for the second time after giving birth to Xiang Xiang – a girl born in 2017.
So far, it is too early to say whether the two cubs are male or female, and they have yet to be named. When born, giant panda cubs are tiny, weighing less than 5 ounces.
Zoo director Yutaka Fukuda said: “Giant pandas are tiny when they are born. “The staff will monitor them around the clock to make sure they grow up healthily.”Another extremely unusual thing is that the giant panda has given birth to one cub, so taking care of two simultaneously will be a tough challenge. As a result, only one of the twin cubs will stay with its mother, while the other will be kept (for a time) in an incubator under the supervision of the zoo’s staff.
Ueno Zoo spokesman Naoya Ohashi said: “It is said that in most cases when twins are born, only one will grow up. “To raise both of them, we need a panda that Shin Shin always carries. We’ll have them take turns nursing while the other one is in the incubator. After a panda finished nursing, we will place it in an incubator and leave the unraised baby with its mother. ”