• Austria's news in English
Panda gives birth to twins in Vienna Zoo
Tiergarten Schönbrunn

Panda gives birth to twins in Vienna Zoo

The Local · 16 Aug 2016, 10:00

Published: 16 Aug 2016 10:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Zoo officials had thought mum Yang Yang had just given birth to one newborn a week ago but became suspicious after hearing sounds coming from the breeding box.

Their suspicions were confirmed last Friday when the camera filming the mother looking after the newborns caught both of them on film at the same time.

Photo: Tiergarten Schönbrunn

“As we believe in natural rearing, we will simply be watching via camera what is happening in the breeding box. It had sounded as if there were two young animals squeaking, but the pictures only ever showed one. On Friday the keepers could see two babies on the screen for the first time” explains Dagmar Schratter, the zoo’s director.

The zoo says that it’s quite common that Giant Pandas give birth to twins but the mother usually only rears the stronger of the two. Because the survival rate for pandas in the first few weeks is only 50 percent, the Chinese tradition is to only name the newborns after 100 days.

Nonetheless, experts say the two 15-centimetre-long pandas appear to be developing well with zoologist Eveline Dungl saying “both little pandas have fat little tummies and panda mother Yang Yang is totally relaxed.”

“The little ones can be rarely seen on the pictures because Yang Yang warms them between her large paws most of the time.”

Although born pink without fur, the zoo keepers can already make out the black and white markings as the first fluff appears.

Weighing just 100 grams, the newborn has not yet developed the distinctive black and white fur and is pink in colour. It is the fourth panda to be born at the Tiergarten Schönbrunn (Schönbrunn Zoo), following Fu Long in 2007, Fu Hu in 2010 and Fu Bao in 2013.

Keepers say the latest additions to the family was probably conceived in March, when the mother Yang Yang and father Long Hui were spotted mating enthusiastically on several occasions.

Story continues below…

Pandas mating in captivity is an extremely rare event and at the time the zoo described the moment between Yang Yang and Long Hui as “sensational”.  

Often pandas can only be bred by zoos using artificial insemination, which makes the latest arrivals - conceived naturally - a special and rare case.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available