It’s pure panda-monium around the world.
On Saturday, the National Zoo’s giant panda, 17-year-old Mei Xiang, gave birth to twins. This is big and surprising news for the Washington, D.C., zoo – which wasn’t completely sure its panda was pregnant until she gave birth.
Twin births are rare among pandas, especially captive ones, so zoo workers are being particularly cautious while caring for Mei Xiang and her newborns. It is important that both babies get equal time with mom, which can be more difficult than it sounds.
“Our panda cubs are doing well, but the panda team had a challenging night. When they tried to swap the cubs at 11 p.m., Mei Xiang would not set down the cub she had in her possession. Consequently, the panda team cared for the smaller cub throughout the night until 7:05 a.m. when they successfully swapped the cubs,” the zoo wrote in a Facebook update about the babies.
It continues: “As we’ve stated, the newborn cubs are vulnerable and this first week is incredibly important and the risk remains high. Our team is doing great work around the clock and we’ll continue to keep you posted.”
While Mei Xiang helps her kids through the first tentative weeks of life, panda cubs in China are taking big steps as well, reports The Sun. The Ya’an Bifengxia Giant Panda Breeding Center publicly introduced 10 panda cubs, ranging in age from 2 weeks to 2 months old, on Friday.
It’s the sweetest baby boom the world has seen in years.