Panda cubs doing 'really well' at 10 weeks old

The two giant panda cubs born at the Toronto Zoo are now 10 weeks old and making good progress, thanks in part to a practice called “twin swapping.

See Full Article

The zoo released new photos of the cubs Wednesday, showing their full black and white coats, and open and alert eyes.

The cubs have put on lots of weight -- growing from just 187 grams and 115 grams at birth, to 3 and 2.5 kilograms respectively. But even now, the zoo says the cubs are fragile.

“They are still at a very critical stage,” zoo spokesperson Jennifer Tracy told CTV News Channel Wednesday. “But they are doing really, really well.”

The pandas’ mother, Er Shun, has shown excellent maternal instincts, nursing both her cubs several times a day. Tracy explained that staff have been twin swapping, so that only one cub is with the mother at once. That’s to ensure that both cubs survive.

“In the wild, if a panda gives birth to twins, she will only care for and nurse one, because she doesn’t have the ability to care for two. So she will likely pick the stronger of the two,” she said.

So with the help of two panda experts who have arrived from China, zoo staff swap out the twins throughout the day, placing one with the mother and the other in an incubator to stay warm.

The only time the mother isn’t with a cub is when she is eating bamboo – which she has to eat a lot of, since she’s producing enough milk for two cubs.

The pandas are still in a “lockdown quarantine,” Tracy says, to minimize their exposure to anything that could compromise their survival.

The only people who have actually seen the cubs are the Toronto Zoo panda keepers, the two Chinese panda experts, and the zoo’s veterinary staff.

The pandas must remain in quarantine for at least 100 days, but officials say they’re hoping to let the public get their first look at them in March.

Mama bear Er Shun and a male named Da Mao arrived at the zoo in 2013, on loan from China.

The adults are slated to move to the Calgary Zoo in 2018, where they will remain for five years.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Artificial intelligence shows unprecedented detail in global fishing activities

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Researchers are learning more than ever before about the effects humans are having on global fish stocks. It's all thanks to a website — funded in part by actor Leonardo DiCaprio's foundation — that tracks ships and uses a type of artificial intelligence to figure out incredible detail in worldwide fishing patterns. Source
  • 'Tiny trash' a big problem for Canada's shorelines

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Small pieces of plastic and foam topped a list of types of litter found along Canada's shorelines last year, beating out the previous year's winner — cigarette butts. That's because this is the first year The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a conservation effort between the non-profit group Ocean Wise and the World Wildlife Fund of Canada, have counted the pieces of what the groups call "tiny trash. Source
  • How many new drugs rely on government-funded science? All of them

    Tech & Science CBC News
    This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of eclectic and under-the-radar health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every Saturday morning. If you haven't subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here. Source
  • Police sketch created with DNA technology is potentially useless or even misleading, says scientist

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Calgary police hired a U.S. biotech company to create a picture of a woman using only her DNA, but a scientist says the evidence behind the technology to create the image simply isn't there. Source
  • Neanderthals, not humans, created these cave paintings in Spain

    Tech & Science CBC News
    From the murky depths of Spanish caves comes a surprising insight: Neanderthals created art. That's been proposed before, but experts say two new studies finally give convincing evidence that our evolutionary cousins had the brainpower to make artistic works and use symbols. Source
  • Neanderthals, not modern humans, created these cave paintings

    Tech & Science CBC News
    From the murky depths of Spanish caves comes a surprising insight: Neanderthals created art. That's been proposed before, but experts say two new studies finally give convincing evidence that our evolutionary cousins had the brainpower to make artistic works and use symbols. Source
  • Science Says: European art scene began with Neanderthals

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK - New discoveries in some Spanish caves give the strongest evidence yet that Neanderthals created art. The key finding was the age of some previously known cave paintings and decorated seashells. European researchers found they were created before our species arrived in Europe. Source
  • Fishing industry has massive global footprint: study

    Tech & Science CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Global fishing efforts are so wide ranging that fleets covered more than 460 million kilometres in 2016 -- a distance equal to going to the moon and back 600 times. That startling revelation is contained in a newly published study in Science that quantifies fishing's global footprint for the first time. Source
  • Twitter bars tactics used by 'bots' to spread false stories

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Twitter Inc. said on Wednesday it would no longer allow people to post identical messages from multiple accounts, cracking down on a tactic that Russian agents and others have allegedly used to make tweets or topics go viral. Source
  • Social media may be pushing more millennials to turn to cosmetic procedures, clinics say

    Tech & Science CBC News
    At age 27, Vanessa Alaumary has already had several cosmetic procedures. She started getting injectables a few years ago and says many of her friends also started in their early 20's. Selfie craze triggers surge in cosmetic procedures Source