Surprise newborn panda twins vocal, 'very, very active'

By Robin Kazmier

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Twin cubs born to a rare giant panda called Mei Xiang were doing well Sunday, vocal and “very, very active” after the surprise back-to-back births at the Smithsonian National Zoo, her handlers said.

The cubs were successfully swapped out early Sunday after being closely monitored through the night by experts concerned about their mother’s ability to care for both offspring at the same time.

“We’ve all been involved in events that don’t go well. So we’re ecstatic that things are going great,” said the zoo’s chief veterinarian Don Neiffer.

He said the cubs had shown “very strong vocalization” and were “very, very active,” good signs for a species that is famously challenging to breed in captivity.

A first tiny cub – pink, hairless and only about the size of an adult mouse – was born at 5:35 pm (2135 GMT) Saturday and Mei Xiang reacted by tenderly picking up it up. Just when conservationists thought they had heard all the good news, the zoo tweeted: “We can confirm a second cub was born at 10:07. It appears healthy. #PandaStory.”

 ‘Out popped a cub’

Laurie Thompson, a giant panda biologist at the zoo, said she became aware a second cub was … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times