web analytics

The Smaller Giant Panda Twin Cub Died at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo


Image credit: The smaller of the two cubs has unfortunately passed away. Getty Images

It is recently reported that a captive panda have given birth to the twin cubs at the Smithsonian National Zoo.

After their birth, the cubs were under separate nursing, but swapped between the mother and an incubator so as to make sure that both newborns would get the best possible chance to survive. It is commonly accepted that the smaller and weaker cub would die in panda twins, because it is impossible for the mother to handle the requirements of two babies rather than  the only one in most cases, so here natural selection is likely to take its course.

It is the bad news that the smaller one of the twin has died, but the larger cub seems to behave in a normally robust and strong manner under the care of the mother Mei Xiang.

It is known that the tiny, hairless cubs need to be kept under  constant care because their 24/7 dependence on the mother for food, warmth and protection until they are getting mature, when they should be one or one and half years old.

Every year, there are just two or three days for female pandas to be fertile and normally they could succeed to raise one cub. Combined with lost habitat and human poaching, it is certain that the number of remaining giant pandas is extraordinarily low. Therefore the story of the death of this cub is quite sad to the people who are struggling very hard to save more endangered giant pandas.