Giant Panda Twins Are 1 Month Old!
The giant panda twins born to Lun Lun on September 3, 2016, are 1 month old today. The duo has already surpassed a month of milestones, with many more to come.
Currently known as “Cub A” and “Cub B,” the twins remain on track developmentally, according to the Zoo’s Animal Management and Veterinary Teams, and each now weighs more than 2 pounds. The cubs’ sexes are not yet known.
Over the past few weeks, the twins have begun to exhibit their species’ trademark blackand-white coloration and now resemble tiny giant pandas. Anticipated milestones include opening ears, opening eyes, and walking.
As were their brothers and sisters before them, the cubs are expected to be named in accordance with the ancient Chinese “100 day” tradition. The twins’ 100th day will be December 12, 2016, and the cubs are expected to make their debut in December 2016 or January 2017.
In another highly-anticipated milestone in the life of an American-born giant panda, the cubs’ older sisters, Mei Lun and Mei Huan, the first pair of surviving giant panda twins born in the U.S., are expected to depart Zoo Atlanta for the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China in November 2016.
Giant pandas represent Zoo Atlanta’s most significant financial investment in wildlife conservation. Fewer than 1,900 giant pandas are estimated to remain in the wild in China’s Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. Of these, more than 1,200 live inside nature reserves, eight of which are supported by Zoo Atlanta. In September 2016, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) upgraded the giant panda’s status from “endangered” to “vulnerable.” The species remains heavily reliant on conservation programs, and giant pandas face ongoing threats from habitat fragmentation and habitat loss as a result of deforestation and other human activities.
Follow the 1-month-old twins and their mother, Lun Lun, on PandaCam hosted by Animal Planet L!VE on zooatlanta.org/pandacam. Tune in to catch up with their sisters, the 3-year-old twins Mei Lun and Mei Huan, during Mei Days on PandaCam, Tuesdays and Thursdays from Noon to 2 p.m. EST.
Stay tuned for exciting updates on the twins and their siblings.
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Rachel Davis, Director of Communications
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About the giant panda program at Zoo Atlanta
The giant panda program at Zoo Atlanta dates to the mid-1990s, prior to the debut of giant panda pair Lun Lun and Yang Yang, who arrived in 1999 on loan from China. Zoo Atlanta initiated its giant panda loan with its primary Chinese partners, the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG), the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and the Chengdu Zoo. Zoo Atlanta scientists developed a program focused on using behavioral and veterinary research to understand, support, and lengthen maternal care; improve reproductive success and well-being; understand giant pandas’ cognitive and perceptual abilities; and improve health, including preventative medicine. Zoo Atlanta’s relationship with the Chengdu Research Base and Chengdu Zoo also led to the creation of conservation education departments at these institutions – the first of their kind in Chinese zoos. In 2012, Zoo Atlanta and partners Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, Memphis Zoo and San Diego Zoo Global earned the prestigious International Conservation Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for their long-term commitment to the species. To date, seven surviving giant panda cubs have been born at Zoo Atlanta: Mei Lan (2006); Xi Lan (2008); Po (2010); Mei Lun and Mei Huan (2013); and a second set of twins born to Lun Lun on September 3, 2016. Mei Lan, Xi Lan and Po currently reside at the Chengdu Research Base.
About Zoo Atlanta
Viewed as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S. and a proud accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Zoo Atlanta has a mission to inspire value and preservation of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family experiences. From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,000 animals from around the world. The Zoo’s newest destination, Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience, featuring more than 70 species in a 111,000 square-foot complex, opened in 2015 and is the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit. Zoo highlights include Mei Lun and Mei Huan, the first pair of surviving giant panda twins born in the U.S., and a second pair of twins born to Lun Lun on September 3, 2016; North America’s largest zoological population of great apes; and a global center of excellence for the care and study of reptiles and amphibians. Up-close-and-personal animal experiences include behind-the-scenes Wild Encounters with African elephants, Aldabra giant tortoises, lemurs and warthogs. Zoo Atlanta is open daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Keeper talks, interactive wildlife shows, education programs and special events run year-round. For more information, visit zooatlanta.org.
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