Photos of rare panda triplets released

JULIE MAKINEN
Last updated 10:23 13/08/2014
pandatriplet
MCT
BABY PANDAS: They haven't been named yet.

Relevant offers

Asia

Nepalis return to quake epicentre to rebuild stone by stone North Korea says it can mount nuclear warheads on missiles Chinese warnings to US plane hint at rising stakes Indonesia buying up wheat to feed bread craze Abbott blasted by Indonesia over migrant boat crisis The 24-minute, $24b wipeout that halved Chinese billionaire's fortune Man with 17 girlfriends arrested Malaysia, Indonesia offer Rohingya migrants aid Japan zoos give up buying dolphins from grisly hunt US casts doubt on North Korea's nuclear claims

Among panda-lovers, it doesn’t take much to set off pandemonium. Tuesday (local time) was a banner day for admirers of the rare black-and-white mammals as a zoo in southern China announced that one of its charges had given birth to a set of triplets — which the facility billed as the only surviving trio of pandas in the world.

The cubs were born to mother Juxiao in the early morning hours of July 29 at the Chimelong wildlife park in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, China’s state-run media said.

Photos of the pink and sparsely-furred cubs released Tuesday showed the triplets in an incubator, two apparently sleeping but one sitting up. Another photo showed one of the cubs being cradled by Juxiao, whose name translates as “chrysanthemum smile.”

Infant pandas have a notoriously high mortality rate, and while Chimelong called the triplets a “miracle,” experts said it was too soon for the cubs to be declared out of the woods.

External genitalia does not develop until pandas are several months old, and the cubs were not identified as male or female.

Apparently, they have not been given names yet, either. According to the National Zoo in Washington, which currently hosts a pair of breeding pandas and one cub, it is traditional to name giant panda cubs when they are 100 days old.

Pandas are notoriously poor breeders. As few as 1600 giant pandas remain in central China’s mountain forests. About 375 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world.

In China’s artificial breeding program, it is common to use sperm from more than one male to artificially inseminate a female in order to increase the chances of fertilization and viable embryos.

-Los Angeles Times


Ad Feedback

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content