Whats better than 2 baby pandas? 3 baby pandas!
The birth of extremely rare panda triplets is another success for China's artificial breeding program.
The three cubs were born July 29 in the southern city of Guangzhou. Breeders delayed an announcement until they were sure all three would survive.
The mother, Ju Xiao, and the three as-yet-unnamed cubs are healthy, a Chinese news agency said. Photos showed the three sleeping and standing in their incubator. Their bodies are pink and mostly hairless. The father of Ju Xiao's triplets is a panda living at another zoo.
The triplets were born within four hours of each other and currently weigh between 8 ounces and 12 ounces.
The panda is China's unofficial national mascot. The country regularly announces the birth of pandas born at zoos and at the Wolong breeding center in the southwestern province of Sichuan. That is where most wild pandas are found.
There are about 1,600 giant pandas in the wild. They are critically endangered due to loss of habitat and low birth rates. More than 300 live in captivity, mostly in China's breeding programs.
Critical thinking challenge: Why are pandas Chinas unofficial mascot? What makes the panda a good choice to represent China?