The gentle giant panda has been successfully taken off the list of Endangered species but witnessing it giving birth is still a great miracle. That’s exactly what happened to China’s giant panda, Chengda, who gave birth to twin cubs on Tuesday.
Chengda is a resident of Sichuan Province-based Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base. The new mom was caught on camera as she welcomed her pigeon pair twins inside her enclosure.
What’s noteworthy and adorably hilarious about the giant panda birth is that one of the twins popped out easily. Chengda then picked the tiny hairless cub up with her mouth and started caring for it. As reported by the Hong Kong Standard, the female panda cub was the first to get out at 10:57 p.m. and she weighed 128.2 grams. The male cub, on the other hand, arrived at 11:35 p.m. and weighed 160.2 grams.
Chengda was suspected to be pregnant since June 5, when staff at the breeding facility noticed signs like loss of appetite. On Tuesday, the expectant giant panda was observed to be restless and by the afternoon, her water broke. Chengda has been great at taking care of them, and her babies are observed to be in good condition.
Giant pandas in the wild normally have low reproductive rates as they only breed once a year during the mating season, which is between March and May. Their gestation period can last from 90 to 160 days. A giant panda’s reproduction biology is also one of the reasons why the species had been on the Endangered animals list. However, with continued efforts in breeding giant pandas in captivity, their status has been moved to “Vulnerable.”
In captivity, giant pandas are able to give birth to twins and in some instances, triplets. It will still take a while before the baby pandas can move on their own. Typically, the panda cub can continue nursing for up to nine months. It also won’t become independent until at the age of almost two years.
Chengda isn’t the only female panda to have given birth to twin cubs. A female panda in Sichuan became the first to welcome twins in captivity on April 24 this year.
Check out the fascinating moment Chengda the giant panda pops out her first baby in the video below.
[Featured Image by VCG/Getty Images]