Giant pandas are not only cute, they are culturally important. For decades, China has worked to protect the endangered species setting up conservation programs not just in the country, but also abroad. It sends pandas overseas to help raise awareness. One of the famous pandas in the United States is now in the spotlight for a new reason.
If anything induces more ooohs, and ahhhs than a cuddly panda cub, it’s two cuddly pandas. The Atlanta Zoo has the first two panda twins born in the U.S. that have survived.
Right now — they are known simply as Panda ‘A’ — and Panda ‘B’. Each week the boys go through a weekly check from tip to tail to monitor growth. The staff at Zoo Atlanta uses closed circuit video to keep an eye on mom, Lun Lun, as she calmly munches away.
While the fur looks soft, it is actually coarse — to protect giant pandas from rain and cold. “A” and “B” are lucky, if they were born in the wild, the situation would be much different.
When there are twins born, generally one of the twins will die — they are so fragile and they need so much care, that generally mom cannot take care of both twins.”
At first, the pink hue around the neck and the black looks a bit brownish. It fades. The chemicals in mom’s saliva that turn the fur brown is only around the neck where she picks them up.
The Chinese panda keepers perfected something called ‘cub swapping.’ When they were tiny, at birth, about every two hours handlers take one of the cubs to the comfort of an incubator.
Atlanta is embracing its growing panda population.
Atlanta is hoping to keep the matriarch, Lun Lun, for the foreseeable future. But, under an agreement with China the boys will only be here about two or so years, and then they will head home.