Surprised Zookeepers Discover Panda Mom’s 2nd Cub 5 Days After She Gives Birth

by Ann-Sophie Kaemmerle
Native New Yorker, University of Virginia graduate, runner, and sometimes stand-up performer.

Animals who give birth in zoos have the luxury of having zookeepers and vets tend to them during this sensitive time.

As soon as the babies come into the world, vets examine them for abnormalities, ensuring that they are healthy enough to be taken care of by Mom.

This is especially true of animals that are endangered or at risk for extinction, like the giant panda.

Any panda birth is a big deal among animal enthusiasts and experts alike, who know that this is just the beginning of a massive effort to reinvigorate the species to allow it to thrive on its own in the wild.

So when Yang Yang, a panda at the Vienna Zoo, gave birth to a cub, it was a beautiful and hopeful moment. But days after she had given birth, her keepers realized that they had made a huge mistake: they discovered a second cub in Yang Yang’s care — a second cub they had no idea she had given birth to.

The zoo believes in “natural rearing,” meaning that the cubs will remain in Mom’s care and not be taken away from her unless dire circumstances dictate otherwise. But there was a camera installed in her pen, and recordings suggested the presence of two cubs for days. But the surprise little one was only seen much later.

In this heartwarming clip, the careful mother is seen cradling her two babies, who are estimated to be about 15 inches long. Both seem to be doing well, despite the common occurrence of mother pandas neglecting the weaker twin.

They certainly look happy as they’re being warmed between Mom’s paws!

Please SHARE if watching Yang Yang and her babies reminded you of a mother you know!

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