Monday evening a giant Panda, by the name of Lun Lun, a 15-year-old on loan from China, gave birth to twins at an Atlanta Zoo.
These are the first pair of twins to be born in the United States since 1987.
“Twins are an entirely new scenario for Lun Lun, Zoo Atlanta and our animal care teams, who will no doubt be extremely busy over the next few months,” Raymond King, the zoo’s president and CEO, said in a news release.
Although twins are not unique among giant Pandas, the survival of both is. In the wild, the mother will care for only one of the cubs, allowing the other to die. The zoo is rotating the cubs, keeping one in a nursery, while the mother cares for the other. The zoo hopes both newborns will receive sufficient care from their mother.
Lun Lun was artificially inseminated in March. She was watched 24 hours a day by surveillance cameras. The zoo reported that her labor lasted just 90 minutes. When she gave birth in 2006, it lasted 36 hours.
The twin Pandas, who were delivered today at an Atlanta Zoo, will make their first public appearance this fall.
Alfred James reporting