Giant panda gives birth to twin cubs at Toronto Zoo
Er Shun, one of two pandas on loan to the zoo from China, gave birth to her first cub at 3:31 a.m. local time (0731 GMT) and the second cub was born 13 minutes later, they weighed just 187.7 and 115 grams, according to a press release from the zoo.
The first 30 days of life are critical, Tracey said. The paternity of the cubs may not be known for several months, the zoo said.
“Er Shun is demonstrating excellent maternal instincts and began cleaning and cradling the first cub soon after its birth”, the zoo said in the statement.
The first ever Canadian-born giant pandas have arrived at the Toronto Zoo.
The public cannot see the cubs until they are at least 5 months old but can follow their growth via Toronto zoo’s twitter feed.
Pandas only look after one baby at a time, so because there are twins in the picture the Toronto Zoo is in the middle of a “hand-rearing” program. They later swapped cubs so Er Shun could have bonding time with each. The cubs, which are 1/900th the size of their mother, are pink in colour with short and sparse white fur.
Sperm from three different donors – Da Mao and two pandas in China – was used during the one-day fertility window back on May 14, and it’s unclear whether the cubs are twins.
“On behalf of the Toronto Zoo Board of Management we are proud of all staff at the Zoo who have helped bring this vision to a reality”, said Councillor Raymond Cho, Chair. That is when they will be relocated to the Calgary Zoo.
Er Shun underwent two non-surgical artificial insemination procedures in May using sperm from male panda Da Mao and frozen sperm collected from two other giant pandas in China.