Healthy panda triplets were born in a zoo in Guangzhou, which is a city in southern China, on July 29th. The birth of panda triplets in captivity is extremely rare and has been reported to be a result of advances in panda breeding technology.
Pandas only have a conception window of a few days each year and they have been said to be uninterested in sex and picky about mates so when a panda becomes pregnant there is cause for celebration. An interesting report about pandas and mating is they like to mate when it is raining or shortly after it rains. When a panda successfully gives birth to healthy offspring, it is again a time for celebration.
Pandas are born relatively immature and they do not open their eyes until they are about 50 to 60 days old. They do not usually begin crawling until they are about three-months-old. The newly born panda triplets will need to be cared for and watched over for a while before they are considered to be out of the woods. If the panda triplets survive for six months, they will likely continue to live for a full lifetime. Pandas live for about 20 to 30 years.
The name of the mother panda is Juxiao and she lives in Buangzhou’s Chimelong Safari Park in southern China. She took some time out to recover at first but now reports say that she is nursing the panda triplets with assistance from workers at the zoo.
The new panda triplets have not been named yet and the sex of each of them is not known. It is likely that the zoo keepers which are taking care of the pandas will determine the sex of the pandas before giving each of them a name.
Pandas are considered to be an endangered species and attempts to get pandas to successfully reproduce are seen as important opportunities to keep the species going. It has been reported that there are only about 1,600 pandas living in the wild.
A controversy about whether pandas are more related to bears or raccoons in an evolutionary sense has been ongoing. Reports, however, say that the controversy seems to have been settled recently based on molecular data. The decision was made that pandas are in the same lineage as bears but branched off early.
Pandas have been an important animal in the history of China. Due to the attractive appearance of pandas, or some might say adorable appearance, and their rarity, they have been given as gifts in diplomatic exchanges. In the 1970s, as the People’s Republic of China was creating diplomatic ties with the Western world, pandas were given to other countries as a sign of friendship.
After President Nixon’s trip to China in 1972, which was the event that opened relations between the United States and China, two pandas, named Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, were given to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. In modern history, this gift of pandas that was highly publicized and very significant in world events created a lot of interest in pandas. That interest has continued until today and so the panda triplets born in the Chinese zoo last month are receiving a warm welcome.
By Margaret Lutze