Twice as Cute: Berlin Zoo Releases New Photos of Growing Baby Panda Twins
The zoo's 6-year-old female panda Meng Meng welcomed the adorable baby bears in August
What’s better than a baby panda? Two baby pandas!
The furry friends were born on Aug. 31, one hour apart, the zoo said in a press release at the time, to 6-year-old bear mom Meng Meng after a gestation period of 147 days.
The zoo has since shared several updates on the adorable cubs, who have now grown black and white fur, gained a lot of weight and opened their eyes for the first time. Zoo carpenters have also handcrafted the little cubs with their very own playpen, and the zoo has said that they take turns spending time with Meng Meng.
Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr. Andreas Knieriem said in a press release last month that the zoo staff is “thrilled” at how the two baby pandas are developing.
“We have been referring to them as ‘big one’ and ‘little one’, but thanks to Meng Meng’s nourishing milk the two siblings are now almost the same size and weight,” Knieriem said. “They both weigh around two kilograms, and they are about 30 centimetres long respectively.”
The two little pandas doing well is a good sign not only for them, but for their species as a whole.
“There are only 1,864 adult pandas currently living in their natural habitat,” Knieriem previously said. “As a result, every single new cub represents an important contribution to the conservation of the species.”
The Berlin Zoo took in the cubs’ parents, Meng Meng and 9-year-old panda dad Jiao Qing, on loan from China in 2017 as part of the country’s “panda diplomacy.”
The zoo is paying $15 million for the privilege to host Meng Meng and Jiao Qing for 15 years; that money helps fund a conservation and breeding research program for the animals in China, The Guardian previously reported. The two babies will be sent back to China four years after weaning off Meng Meng as part of the agreement, the outlet said.