These two giant panda cubs were born at the Toronto Zoo on Oct. 13, 2015.
On the heels of getting four new white baby lion cubs, the Toronto Zoo has two new giant panda cubs. The cubs were born early Tuesday morning to Er Shun, a giant panda on loan from China. This follows the birth in late September of four white lion cubs at the zoo.
The first giant panda cub arrived at 3:31 a.m. and the second at 3:44 a.m. Er Shun became pregnant by artificial insemination using sperm from two male giant pandas in China and the other giant panda in Toronto, also on loan from China. It’s the first time giant panda cubs have been born in Canada.
A press release
from the zoo noted that Er Shun was “demonstrating excellent maternal instincts and began cleaning and cradling the first cub soon after its birth and immediately following the birth of the second cub.” The press release went on to say that the babies are “very vulnerable at this size, so the next several hours and days will be critical to their survival.”
Giant pandas are born blind and not giant, these two were born at 187.7 grams and 115 grams, that’s under half a pound each, which is within the normal birth range for giant panda cubs. The press release described them as the size of a “stick of butter.”
In the late hours of September 26 and the early hours of the 27th, the zoo’s white lioness, Makali, had her first litter, 4 healthy white lions (the dad is Makali’s sometime companion, Fintan). The lion brood and the giant pandas are being kept in the zoo’s maternity ward and will not be available for public viewing until older, likely at six-to-eight-weeks old.
“We are so proud to be contributing to the ongoing survival of this endangered species,” Toronto Zoo CEO John Tracogna said in a statement about the birth of the pandas.