Lun Lun the giant panda is expecting twins!
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Zoo Atlanta Veterinary Team has confirmed the presence of a second fetus on ultrasound; birthwatch began August 22
Lun Lun the giant panda has been confirmed to be expecting twins. The Zoo Atlanta Veterinary Team obtained an ultrasound image confirming the presence of a second fetus on August 22, 2016.
The Animal Management and Veterinary Teams confirmed Lun Lun’s pregnancy via ultrasound on August 16, with an image of a fetus measuring 0.78 centimeters. As of August 22, that fetus measured 2.68 centimeters, and the second fetus measured 2.19 centimeters.
Round-the-clock birthwatch began on August 22, but there is still no certainty of impending births, as fetal reabsorption is not uncommon in giant pandas. Ultrasound participation is voluntary for Lun Lun, so there is no guarantee that the team will be able to obtain additional ultrasounds prior to a birth.
Lun Lun, who turns 19 on Thursday, August 25, is the mother of the only pair of giant panda twins in the U.S., 3-year-olds Mei Lun and Mei Huan. While it is estimated that giant pandas give birth to twins approximately 50 percent of the time, wild giant panda mothers will typically care for only one cub. Advances in animal care and veterinary care in zoos have resulted in successful rearing of twins both in the zoological population in China and in zoos outside China.
Join the Zoo Atlanta family in preparing for a birth by tuning in to PandaCam hosted by Animal Planet L!VE on www.zooatlanta.org. Stay tuned for updates.