Giant Panda Ershun Gave Birth to Twins at Toronto Zoo, Canada on October 13, 2015
Date: 2015-10-21

Giant panda Ershun successfully gave birth to twins at The Toronto Zoo at around 3:30 a.m. on October 13, 2015 (Canada time) with the joint efforts of experts and breeders from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and the staff of The Toronto Zoo. The bigger cub weighs 181.7g, while the smaller one 115.1g. At this time both mother and babies are in good shape.

Breeder’s Notes: A Gift for Thanksgiving

(The following are excerpts from the work diaries of Chen Min and Zhou Xueyan, two breeders from Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding who went to Canada to help with the delivery)

On September 22, 2015, Ershun began losing her appetite, with cookies amount reduced from 250g to 150g per day.

On September 25, B ultrasound results gave us the exciting news that Ershun is expecting a little angel.

On September 28, Ershun began licking her vulva. The ultrasound recheck the next day surprisingly discovered another giant panda fetus. While talking with Toronto Zoo staff, we were told that Ershun was very stubborn. However, nanny gradually found that Ershun became quiet and was very cooperative during the prenatal examination.

On October 4, Ershun got anxious and displayed more and more prenatal behaviors.

On October 11, Ershun refused eating cookies, and on October 12, rejected apples, her favorite food. We know you are anxious to see your babies. We too want your babies to enjoy the most beautiful season of Canada. Let’s be patient and wait for the moment.

It was Thanksgiving in Canada on October 12, and Ershun was very restless. She refused bamboo and then apple and paced all day long, taking short breaks only when tired. From all of this behavior, nanny believed that we can expect the babies soon.

As expected, Ershun gave birth to a baby at 3:31 a.m. on October 13 (Canada time) after one day and one night’s waiting. Ershun, the new mom, did not hold the baby in her mouth at first, and her forelegs shook noticeably. Maybe she was confused that this “little angel” comes from out of the blue. Finally, Ershun picked up her baby with her mouth after the baby cried for 30 seconds.

Sitting down with rigid neck, Ershun held the babies in her arms slowly, which makes the little angle calm down gradually. Not until now did the nannies feel relieved. Though it’s her first birth, Ershun has strong maternal instincts. The nannies still didn’t relax after seeing Ershun holding the baby in her arms because they were expecting the second baby at any time. At 3:44 a.m., the second baby was born while the mother directed all her attentions to the first one, and the nannies successfully retrieved the cub and put it in the incubator.

Please enjoy your time with your babies, Ershun, and let us do the rest. We will help you take good care of everything. All you need to do is to keep company with them during their growing up.

We will share with you all anecdotes concerning Ershun and her babies in the future.



Milking the foremilk

Cutting off the umbilical cord

Cutting off the umbilical cord

Helping the mother with breastfeeding

Helping with the defecation

Nutrition supplements

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