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14 Baby Pandas in Crib: Why Breed Them?

What’s better than one baby panda? Fourteen, apparently—the Web’s cuteness quotient has just skyrocketed with pictures of a crib full of baby pandas at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base in southwestern China.

The cubs, born between July and September of this year, are being raised in two delivery rooms at the facility, the BBC reported.

giant panda babies picture

Breeders care for giant panda cubs at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China on September 23. Photograph from China Daily/Reuters

Possibly as few as 1,600 giant pandas still roam the mountainous forests of central China, and more than 300 live in captivity in various facilities around the globe—most of them in China.

Breeding pandas can be difficult, although advances in veterinary technology have allowed scientists to better understand panda biology and use practices such as artificial insemination, Marc Brody, the Wolong Nature Reserve’s senior advisor for conservation and sustainable development, said in August. (Read our primer on the challenges of breeding pandas.)

The goal of most captive-breeding programs is to eventually reintroduce the animals back into China’s bamboo forests, Brody said. Although the pandas’ range is mostly preserved, much of it is still fragmented so that there are only a few large, continuous tracts where the animals can roam freely.

So far, scientists have attempted two reintroductions of captive-bred pandas into Sichuan Province: Xiang Xiang, who died in 2007 after being beaten up by wild resident males in Wolong, and Tao Tao, who’s been living in the Liziping Nature Reserve since 2012. Pandas that live in captive-breeding facilities outside China are on loan, and their offspring are returned to China.

Ultimately, said Wolong’s Brody, “captive breeding can only take us so far, and its greatest contribution isn’t the birth of a single panda but the arousal of interest and support for panda conservation at large.”

 Follow Christine Dell’Amore on Twitter and Google+.

Comments

  1. Riki
    Indonesia
    March 8, 8:31 pm

    Those little panda are cute.
    Someone must be like those pandas a lot. :)
    Hhahaha :)

  2. shtaviona
    Eden prairie
    November 13, 2013, 3:00 pm

    I want a baby pandas so bad that they look so cute

  3. Anita
    San Jose, CA
    October 18, 2013, 3:24 pm

    It has been my calling to talk about the pandas as these passive but wonderful species need human aid to stay out of extinction. Baby pandas are truly the cutest, and if they could be pets for private people. I think donations would help for their healthy existence. Pandas International is a dedicated non-profit org for this priceless animal that give many of us joy just by watching & caring for them. Thx to all

  4. Mary
    Illinois
    October 3, 2013, 10:11 am

    Beautiful little pandas

  5. Mary
    Illinois
    October 3, 2013, 10:09 am

    Heartwarming sight – but have they been removed from the mother pandas entirely? Raised totally by humans?

  6. Laffie
    October 2, 2013, 1:22 pm

    Wrap ‘um all up and send them to me ..how cute!!!!

  7. Michele Jankelow
    South Africa
    September 30, 2013, 1:06 pm

    So much work to be done and if only people would just allow wildlife to be free and safe!
    Thank you for your efforts in Chengdu!

  8. effie
    gilabend
    September 27, 2013, 5:54 pm

    sssoooo cute pleas take more like this but with tiger cubs thank you for your time

  9. Lori Pottinger
    Berkeley, CA
    September 27, 2013, 12:22 pm

    It’s great that China is seeking to breed pandas to maintain dwindling populations. Given China’s growing trafficking in elephant and rhino tusks, shark fins, bear gallbladder and many other animal parts that threaten species around the globe, perhaps China should start breeding other animals as well (or better yet, start homegrown campaigns to end the practices that are leading to wildlife extinctions and dramatically reduced populations outside its borders).

  10. sonny
    indonesia
    September 27, 2013, 11:38 am

    wooow

  11. Jory
    the millz
    September 27, 2013, 11:25 am

    these little bluggers are a helk of a sight mate beautiful they are indeed

  12. Roxanne
    Taiwan
    September 27, 2013, 10:51 am

    It’s an unbelievable dream to be surrounded by baby pandas.

  13. Sophie m.
    Florida
    September 27, 2013, 10:10 am

    They are soo cute!

  14. Yo Menashe
    September 27, 2013, 9:19 am

    This is just too cute and absolutely wonderful.

  15. Geroge
    September 27, 2013, 12:52 am

    this is cool!!!!!!!!!