AFP/File – Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui, play together as they stay at Chiang Mai Zoo in northern Thailand in 2005. …
Lin Hui is the mother of the twins !
AP – In this photo released by Chiang Mai Zoo, a new born baby panda sits in the hands of a veterinarian .
Great news for animal lovers. I heard it over the astro news this evening , and searching the web, I found the actual news.
Chiang Mai Zoo have reported that a panda in their zoo has given birth to a twin . Apparently, the zoo authority artificially inseminated the female panda in February , but there was no sign at all that she was pregnant. Read more here.
According to AFP report here .
"Giant pandas, notorious for their low sex drive, are among the world's most endangered animals. Nearly 1,600 pandas are believed to survive in the wild in China and about 180 are being raised in captivity in zoos worldwide."
You may ask me why the interest ! I have always been interested on this species which at one time was facing extinction.
The pandas have many pecularities. Let me highlight certain points taken from here.
--The panda first appeared 2 to 3 million years ago.
--Today, pandas are found in six isolated forest areas in Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi provinces in China.
--Pandas live in high , usually from 2,700 to 3,700 meters above sea level
--For years, scientists have argued about whether the panda is more closely related to the bear or the raccoon
--some characteristics common to bears, but other characteristics are not
--Recent DNA / serological studies have determined that the panda is more closely related to bears than to raccoons.
--adult panda is typically 1.5 meters long and weighs about 75 to 135 kilograms Males are 10% to 20% heavier than female
--Pandas are most active at twilight and night and slow in the day
--Their fur is slightly oily which prevents water penetration in the cool, damp climate where the pandas live.
--Pandas now feed almost exclusively on the stems and leaves of bamboo. Although, ninety-five to ninety-nine percent of the pandas' diet is bamboo, they also eat flowers, vines, mushroom, grass, fish, and small rodents.
--Pandas also communicate vocally. They have up to 11 distinct calls
--Pandas breed once a year. Mating season is from March to May
--Pandas are the second most threatened species in the world. Only about 1000 pandas are estimated to live in the wild.
--Destruction of the panda's natural habitat is now the major threat to their existance
So far, The United States, Japan and Thailand are the only countries outside China to have bred pandas through artificial insemination.
Now , tell me these are not interesting!