Giant Panda gives birth to twins

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pandaATLANTA, GA – There’s pandemonium at the Atlanta Zoo. Lun Lun , the zoo’s 15-year-old Giant Panda has given birth.

Zoo officials artificially inseminated her months ago and confirmed the pregnancy with an ultrasound in June; but they weren’t expecting twins.  The cubs were delivered two minutes apart weighing 5.1 ounces and 3.5 ounces. Ironically, that’s about the average weight for a newborn Giant Panda.

“They’re a pink blob with very little hair. Their eyes aren’t open. They’ve got a good set of lungs on them… they squeal really loud,” says Dwight Lawson, Zoo Atlanta’s Deputy Director.

Although they were born in America, as per Chinese tradition (for good luck), they won’t be named until the 100th day and by then zookeepers will be able to determine the sex.; it must not be too obvious now.

Twin births are common in the panda world. Last month twins were born in China at a Conservation Center.

Pandas are still on the endangered list so it’s a good thing both sets of twins were born in captivity. If this had happened in the wild probably only one cub would have survived as the mother chooses the stronger and the weaker cub dies. To prevent this, zoo officials will rotate the cubs between Lun Lun and the panda nursery.

“Every hour is key and it won’t be until we’re a couple of weeks – a month into this that we’re able to breathe easy.”

Like the NSA, they’ll be watching and listening to everything via the zoo’s Panda Cam.