The giant panda twins born in Shanghai Wildlife Park met each other for the first time on Friday after they were born one month ago.
The cubs have grown black fur on their ears as well as the unmistakable “panda eyes”.
Upon receiving a physical examination, the baby boy weighed in at 1,350 grams while his younger sister weighed 1,168 grams.
They weighed just 131.5 grams and 113.2 grams, roughly equivalent to the weight of an iPhone 6, when their mother You You gave birth to them on Oct. 4. Both cubs came into the world within just 16 minutes while being born.
It is the natural instinct of giant panda mothers to pick the strongest cubs from twin births to nurture while ignoring or refusing to take care of the weaker one. This is the breeding strategy to ensure greater survival in the wild, according to animal keepers of the park.
You You started breast feeding the male cub immediately after birth, and the newborn female was taken out for artificial feeding.
The animal keepers observed and nursed the female cub around the clock since she was in poor health upon birth.
On the fifth day, the keepers switched the pair and the female cub started breast feeding while the male cub started artificial feeding. This is the first time the park conducted cub-switching experiments on giant pandas. Now the pair take turns with breast feeding and artificial feeding.
“The mother feeds both the cubs. Firstly, the mother can know both the cubs are hers and she can take care of them. Secondly, breast feeding is much better than artificial feeding,” said Min Yingguo, a breeder within the park.
Chubby and active, the twins look adorable, and it won’t be long before they are melting the hearts of visitors to the park.