Exploring Panda Bear Cuteness

Prompted by the public debut of Xiao Liwu at the San Diego Zoo, NPR’s The Two-Way discussed why we find panda bears utterly adorable.

For example, why do we find pandas so cute…

…while eating bamboo?

…while eating leaves?

…while hanging on a fence?

…while sleeping on a branch?

…while sleeping on some logs?

…while sleeping on a rock?

…or while just plain sleeping?

The reason according to NPR is that their big eyes, button noses, round faces, and clumsy yet cuddly bodies invoke parenting instincts in humans.

Read more about various panda bear cuteness research at NPR’s The Two-Way.

Learn more about pandas in Animal Fact Guide’s article, Giant Panda.

Miracle Babies

On Tuesday, September 13 and Wednesday, September 14, starting at 8pm both nights, Nat Geo WILD is airing a special program devoted to sustaining vulnerable species called Miracle Babies.  In five hour-long episodes, viewers gain a window into the world of baby pandas, leopards, Tasmanian devils, lemurs, koalas, wallabies, ibises, parrots, and more.

Watch a video below of cute baby pandas raised in captivity in Chengdu, China:

Watch a video below of adorable baby sifaka lemurs:

Watch a video below of two baby Tasmanian devils (one baby even gets hiccups after feeding):

Panda Born at Zoo Atlanta

Lun Lun, a 13-year-old panda, has given birth today to the only baby panda born in the US this year. It is the third cub born to Lun Lun and her partner Yang Yang.

The cub and mother are being monitored by zoo veterinarians. The baby will not be on view to the public until spring of next year. Until then you can check out the Panda Cam which is on from 10-5 Monday through Friday.

For more visit Zoo Atlanta and their Panda Cam.

Giant Pandas Move from US to China

Three year old panda Mei Lan and her 4 year old cousin, Tai Shan, were flown this morning from the United States to China aboard a plane dubbed “The Panda Express.” The two pandas were living at Zoo Atlanta and the National Zoo in Washington, respectively. They were on loan from China and are being sent back to help repopulate the endangered species.

One of the interesting transitions for the pandas to make will be to learn to understand commands in Chinese. Being raised in the United States, the pandas have been trained in English. Therefore, a Chinese language teacher is being hired.

For more, visit CNN.

Giant Panda Cub Arrives in San Diego

Bai Yun, a giant panda, and her cubBai Yun, who was reported last month to be pregnant, has given birth to a cub this week. She has given birth to four other cubs in her life: Hua Mei, Mei Sheng, Su Lin and Zhen Zhen. The most recent cub has yet to be named.

Although it was possible that she would give birth to twins, it appears that she will not give birth to the second cub. Pandas have the ability to reabsorb a fetus if it is not fully developed.

Read more at the LA Times.

Check out the San Diego Zoo Panda Cam.

Read more about giant pandas on Animal Fact Guide.