What’s cuter than a baby panda in a crib? How about 14 baby pandas in a crib. These 14 pandas were born at the Chengdu Panda Base in Sichuan Province, China and made their first public appearance on Monday.
The cubs are raised in two separate delivery rooms but were put together for the first time for the photo. The cubs are part of a captive breeding program that will hopefully help increase the number of giant pandas in existence and prevent them from becoming extinct.
The giant panda is an endangered species with only about 1,000 wild pandas living in China. Pandas became endangered due to low birth rates and habitat loss. There are over 40 Panda reserves in China and it is believed that the conservation of the species is working, as population are growing larger. Although the populations are increasing, many scientists worry that these efforts are made in vain as there is not enough habitats left to sustain large populations of giant pandas.
These 14 baby pandas will join others at the base to make 128 total panda residents. These pandas were all bred in captivity and none of them were taken from their parents or the wild. Most captive breeding programs use artificial insemination to get female pandas pregnant because many pandas lose their interest in mating once they are in captivity. Giant pandas become sexually mature at around 4 years of age. In the wild they give birth to one or two cubs. If two are born, usually only one survives.
There are many other captive breeding programs in China that are also trying to prevent giant pandas from becoming exstinct. Hopefully there will be many more of these little cuties in the future.
Image from Today.com.