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.


Latest Tech & Science News

  • Dutch unveil giant 'outside' vacuum cleaner to purify air

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Dutch inventors Tuesday unveiled what they called the world's first giant outside air vacuum cleaner -- a large purifying system intended to filter out toxic tiny particles from the atmosphere surrounding the machine. "It's a large industrial filter about eight metres (yards) long, made of steel. Source
  • Energy saving rules mean more net zero home builds, incentives to retrofit older homes

    Tech & Science CBC News
    The federal government wants existing homes to be more energy efficient and for developers to build more net zero homes. Very shortly the Liberal government is expected to introduce changes to the national building code that will require builders to include more net zero homes — buildings that produce as much energy as they use — in housing developments in the next 15 years. Source
  • Sunflower sea star nearly wiped out by virus in B.C., Washington waters: report

    Tech & Science CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- There was once a galaxy of sunflower sea stars in the Salish Sea off the B.C. and Washington state coasts, but a new study says the animal's near disappearance from the ocean floor should be of special concern. Source
  • Canadians now spending more on Internet access than on television

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA - Canadians spent more on Internet access than television services for the first time last year, according to a report by the CRTC. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said that in 2015 communications service industry revenues from Internet access were $9.8 billion, while subscription television services accounted for $8.9 billion. Source
  • Stop looking at your phone: Majority of Canadians support legislation to ban distracted walking

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A new poll suggests the majority of Canadians are in support of regulations to ban distracted walking. Market research company Insights West asked 1,013 people across the country if they would support or oppose legislation that would forbid the use of hand-held cellphones while walking in roadways such as intersections. Source
  • Robotics conference in Beijing highlights intelligent robots

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Air Date: Oct 26, 2016 12:59 PM ET Source
  • Amazon's Alexa voice assistant arrives on Fire tablets

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Amazon's Fire tablets are getting the Alexa voice assistant. The previously announced feature will start rolling out to customers Wednesday. It's meant to complement what users get on other Alexa devices, such as the Echo speaker. Source
  • Rehabilitated orangutans freed in Borneo as species dwindles

    Tech & Science CTV News
    KEHJE SEWEN FOREST, Indonesia -- Jamur didn't hesitate as the door of her temporary cramped quarters slid open. In less than a second, the stocky red-haired orangutan was savoring freedom for the first time in nearly two decades. Source
  • Muskrat Falls unrest simmered for years: a look back at methylmercury concerns

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Concerns over methylmercury contamination at Muskrat Falls boiled over this month, but tensions around the multi-billion dollar hydroelectric project in Labrador have been percolating for years. Protesters marched on the Muskrat Falls construction site twice this month — worried that impending flooding would result in dangerous levels of methylmercury in Lake Melville, and would contaminate fish, seal and seabirds downstream. Source
  • 'There's no way for you to know': Why so-called smart devices are putting us all at risk

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Last Friday's massive cyberattacks should serve as a "wake-up call" and a warning to consumers that smart devices designed to make our lives more convenient are also making us unsafe, security analysts warn. Source