World's first panda triplets born in China

Aug 12, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT
A panda eats bamboo in the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on June 23, 2014 in Chengdu, China.
Xiao Lu Chu/Getty Images

Newborn pandas in captivity are closely watched as their mortality rates are high. The latest giant panda birth produced triplet pandas who have survived, and are being called "miracles". 

The Guardian describes the conditions of the pandas:

The mother, named Juxiao, which means "chrysanthemum smile", delivered the triplets at Guangzhou's Chimelong safari park in the early hours of 29 July, but was too exhausted to take care of them afterwards.
 
A video from the zoo showed Juxiao sitting in the corner of a room as she delivered her cubs for four hours and licking them after they were born. By the time it came to the delivery of the third cub, she was lying on her side.
 
Her cubs were initially put in to incubators while Juxiao regained her strength, but they have now been brought back to their mother for nursing and were being attended to by a round-the-clock team of feeders, the zoo said on Tuesday.
 
The Washington Post discusses how giant panda births are treated, and the history behind their rarity:
 
Giant pandas are notorious for being some of nature’s most finicky breeders. Females ovulate once a year in the spring and can only conceive in a two- to three-day window during ovulation.
 
Previous panda triplets have been born in 1999 and 2013, but only one cub survived in both cases. Another set of triplets was born in 1967, though none survived.
 
“It was a miracle for us, and [the births] exceeded our expectations,” the safari park’s general manager Dong Guixin, told AFP. “It’s been 15 days. They have lived longer than any other triplets so far.”
 
 
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