Photos Of China's Newborn Panda Triplets Will Melt Your Heart
If you need a lift for Tuesday, here it is: The first-surviving panda triplets were born in China, and they're adorable. China welcomed the panda triplets in late July, though their birth was just announced on Tuesday. The panda cubs are currently being cared for at the Chimelong Safari Park in Guangzhou, a city in southern China.
The mother of the cubs, Juxiao, is also sheltered at the park. However, the park said she's unable to care for her cubs because she was so exhausted from giving birth to more cubs than she probably expected.
According to a press statement from the Chinese park, these cubs are the only panda triplets currently existing in the world. The park called their birth "a miracle," because panda triplets tend to have a very high cub mortality rate. "They were said to be the only panda triplets that have ever survived," the park said in its official birth announcement.
Unfortunately, it may be too premature to celebrate the survival of the panda triplets. Although the survival rate for panda cubs born in the United States is high, cubs birthed at China breeding centers only have up to a 45 percent survival rate, according to data from the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding.
Still, as pandas are in danger of extinction, the birth of the triplets is significant. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that only 1,600 giant pandas are left in the wild (as of 2006). Their threat of extinction has led to panda breeding in captivity, though it's very difficult to do — female pandas are only fertile once a year for about 36 hours.
Here's some more pictures of these adorable little guys, because who wouldn't want that?
And if you want to see them in action, here's a video of the triplets and their mother, Juxiao, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal.