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

  • Surge in value for Bitcoin cryptocurrency

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The value of the Bitcoin, the internet's most widely used virtual currency, has more than doubled since the beginning of 2017, recently passing the symbolic $2,000 mark and setting a new record. While the currency is becoming more widely used and accepted, it is still often associated with the darker side of the internet. Source
  • Snowy plover chick hatches on Oregon beach for first time since 1960s

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Western snowy plover chick that hatched on an Oregon beach this spring is the first of its species to emerge successfully in that area in more than 50 years and provides hope that a management plan for the federally threatened species is working, wildlife officials said Wednesday. Source
  • Endangered salamanders put quarry on hold as residents fight against project

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A group of Ontario residents trying to ward off the development of a new quarry in their community say they have found two endangered salamanders that they hope will convince authorities to put an end to the project. Source
  • Temperatures to 'teeter-totter' across Canada this summer

    Tech & Science CBC News
    The lack of a clear El Niño or La Niña out in the Pacific Ocean means weather patterns across much of Canada are likely to remain changeable and active for much of the summer, top meteorologists are forecasting. Source
  • Report on failed European Mars lander concludes brief, unexpected spin to blame

    Tech & Science CBC News
    An independent report has concluded that Europe's Schiaparelli probe crash-landed on Mars last year because its systems couldn't cope with a brief, wild rotation during its descent. The report commissioned by the European Space Agency says the sudden spin — lasting only one second — overloaded the probe's sensors, making it think it had already reached the ground. Source
  • Endangered salamanders put quarry on hold as Ontario town battles against project

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A group of Ontario residents trying to ward off the development of a new quarry in their community say they have found two endangered salamanders that they hope will convince authorities to put an end to the project. Source
  • Google's AI wins Go match in China, but blocks online broadcast

    Tech & Science CBC News
    ?Internet users outside China watched a computer defeat its national go champion, but few Chinese web surfers could see it. Censors blocked access to Tuesday's online broadcast by Google, which organized the game in a town west of Shanghai during a forum on artificial intelligence. Source
  • Rare piebald moose caught on video in western Newfoundland

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A photographer in western Newfoundland captured what he calls a "once in a lifetime" encounter with an unusual patterned moose this week. Gerard Gale, who runs his own photography business, was in Black Duck Siding near Stephenville on Monday when he spotted a large mostly-white moose having a snack on some bushes. Source
  • China blocks online broadcast of computer Go match

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BEIJING -- Internet users outside China watched a computer defeat its national Go champion, but few Chinese web surfers could see it. Censors blocked access to Tuesday's online broadcast by Google, which organized the game in a town west of Shanghai during a forum on artificial intelligence. Source
  • Global seed vault at risk — and climate change is to blame, say experts

    Tech & Science CBC News
    more stories from this episodeManchester attack: Can U.K. stop homegrown terrorism?Sloppy science creates worthless cures and wastes billions, says authorGlobal seed vault at risk — and climate change is to blame, say expertsFull Episode Source