Monday marked a momentous event in panda history – Lun Lun, a 15 year-old giant panda, gave birth to twins at Zoo Atlanta. Although the twin pandas look anything but giant, they are the first to be born in the United States since 1987. The rest of the family includes father Yang Yang and brothers Xi lan, 4 and Po, 2, all of whom live at the zoo as well.
After successful artificial insemination in March, a live PandaCam, Twitter updates and a 90-minute labor, the pandas were delivered within two minutes of each other on Monday night. It is not rare for giant pandas to give birth to twins, but, sadly, it is quite rare for both twins to survive when this does occur because the mother usually only cares for one of the two. Thankfully, Zoo Atlanta has devised a plan – the mother cares for one panda while the Giant Panda Center at the zoo cares for the other; in order to ensure that each panda gets the same amount of love from mom, the cubs are periodically switched.