In an exciting and rare occurrence, a South Korean zoo is celebrating the birth of the country’s first twin giant panda cubs. The adorable female pandas made their debut at the Everland Resort theme park, located southeast of the capital city of Seoul, on July 7. The birth of twin panda cubs is considered a remarkable event, as there is less than a 50% chance of pandas giving birth to twins.
A video shared on YouTube captured the heartwarming moment when the mother panda, Ai Bao, carefully picked up the first cub, weighing 180 grams (6 ounces), with her mouth. An hour later, she delivered the second cub, weighing 140 grams. Both mother and cubs are reported to be in good health, and the zoo staff is providing postpartum care based on their previous experience helping Ai Bao deliver her first cub, Fu Bao, three years ago.
The successful birth of the twin pandas is an important achievement for the zoo and represents a milestone in the cooperation between South Korea and China on panda research. The parents of the cubs, Ai Bao and father Le Bao, were loaned to South Korea in 2016, and they previously gave birth to Fu Bao, the first panda born in the country in 2020. The new panda twins are yet to be named.
Giant pandas, known as a “national treasure” in China, are native to the country and are famous for their love of bamboo. The species has been involved in “panda diplomacy” for decades, with China sending them abroad as ambassadors to foster goodwill. Beijing currently loans pandas to approximately 20 countries as a symbol of friendship and cooperation.
The reproductive habits of giant pandas pose challenges for breeding programs. These bears have only one fertile period each year, lasting for just one to three days, and their solitary nature in the wild means mating opportunities are rare. In order to increase the chances of successful mating, the zoo meticulously analyzed the hormonal changes among the pandas and closely observed the mother’s behavior after becoming pregnant.
It is estimated that approximately 1,800 pandas remain in the wild, primarily in the mountainous regions of Sichuan, western China. The birth of twin pandas in South Korea brings hope for the conservation of this endangered species and highlights the ongoing efforts to protect and preserve their habitats.
The birth of these twin pandas in South Korea is not only a cause for celebration but also a reminder of the importance of international collaboration in conservation efforts. The zookeepers and staff at the Everland Resort are committed to providing the best care for the mother and her cubs, ensuring that they grow up healthy and continue to bring joy to the public as an adorable panda family.