No, thats not the latest Christmas display at your local toy store, thats the result of a recent breeding program for Pandas in Sichuan, China, where one zoo has its hands full with 16 baby pandas.
The Sichuan Wolong Panda Protection and Breed Center is dealing with the results of a breeding boom — 16 pandas have been born since July, 2005. The brood includes five sets of twins. The cubs are weighed and measured every five days by a special panda nurse.
The heaviest tips the scale at just over 24 pounds, while the lightest weighs about 11 pounds. The pandas stopped being suckled by their mothers in February, 2006 just about the time they’ll start learning to walk. Once weaned, the panda cubs will attend panda kindergarten. In the meantime, more little ones are expected at the center, since 38 giant pandas were artificially impregnated.
So many may now be asking the question whether this could mean that pandas could be out of the endangered species list. Heres what the panda conservationalists forecast:
” The Outlook is guardedly optimistic, still at a critical point. The future of the panda is interwoven with the Chinese people and the corporate citizenship of companies moving into the Chinese market. New opportunities for the Chinese workforce in manufacturing, new advances in environmentally responsible farming, the introduction of high yield crops to reduce logging, and population control efforts will all help the pandas. The outlook for the giant pandas is linked to aggressive conservation efforts as well as successful captive breeding. Biological diversity and sustainability are essential. “