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Panda updates – Monday, July 6

It’s a special day for the Panda Care Team because Po’s twins are 1 today! If you’re new to the Atlanta pandas, Po was Lun Lun Lun’s third and first female cub. She was born Nov. 3, 2010, and lived with Lun Lun until she was weaned in spring 2013. She moved to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where her parents were born, in May 2014. At the Panda Base, she is known as A Bao or Bao Lan, to differentiate her from another Po who lives there. In summer 2019, Po experienced her first pregnancy, and on July 6, gave birth to twins, a male and a female! Po’s cubs were the heaviest set of twins at birth on record at 211 grams and 209 grams! The average weight of a single newborn panda is 150 grams, and twins are usually lighter. While Lun Lun’s and Yang Yang’s sons have both sired cubs, Po is the first of their offspring to rear her own cubs. They’re the second generation of mother-reared cubs and are a testament to Lun Lun’s excellent maternal care. I was just a few feet away when Po was born, and as one of her former caregivers, I’m so proud of her, our panda program, and our partnership with the Chengdu Research Base. On this special day, we have an exclusive update from James Ayala, one of the staff at the Base:

“Po is an amazing first-time mother. As mom to the twin cubs with the heaviest birth weight in the world, she literally has her paws filled nursing them. She has always had a great appetite. Although she did not really like our local ‘panda bread’ when she first arrived, she now loves it and is even more excited that it is bamboo shoot season! Eating these foods is the best way for her to keep her calories high for feeding her cubs. Bao Ge, the male cub, is more outgoing and more interested in wrestling with his mom, while Bao Mei, the female cub, is more inclined to observe her mom and brother’s play from the safety of her favorite tree. When feeling less introverted, Bao Mei will join in the play and chaos ensues. Po and her cubs are a shining example of the successful collaboration between the Panda Base and Zoo Atlanta to conserve giant pandas.”

(photo by Cui Kai)

Heather R.
Senior Keeper, Carnivores

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl