Giant Panda Babies

Giant Panda Babies

Easily one of the most adorable baby animals ever seen, the baby panda is in fact born unrecognizable; no black and white markings, blind and entirely dependent on their mothers.

Actually, getting to see - let alone even hold - a real baby panda is a totally different story. Mama panda bears are extremely protective of their young, to the point where she won’t even leave them alone to get self-something to eat or drink.

How Do Baby Pandas Grow Up?

Before a newborn panda can be born, both male and female pandas have to go through the mating season: a period of time that only occurs once a year between March and May. Being very lone mammals, male and female pandas only interact for a maximum of days while female panda bears are only fertile for 24 to 36 hours. A panda mom can only get pregnant once every two years due to their very needy babies and can give birth to a maximum of two cubs at a time. However, because baby pandas are so demanding, mother pandas are usually forced to abandon one of the babies and are only capable of caring for a single cub. It is very uncommon for both babies to survive. This is one of the factors playing a role in the extinction of the adorable and loveable giant panda.

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Aside from lacking their famous black and white patches, baby pandas start their life bald, wrinkly and blind. Even more particularly, pandas are actually born without genitalia, making it impossible to distinguish them as male or female for several months. They depend solely on their mother for heat, milk and protection and won’t leave her side for quite some time.

Giant panda babies, also known as panda cubs, are born weighing no more than 90-130 grams which is about the size of a single stick of butter. In fact, the panda cub is approximately 1/900th of his mother’s size, making them the smallest born mammal on earth! In comparison, a human baby is born approximately 20 times smaller than its mother. But why are giant panda babies born so small? Well, scientists aren’t exactly sure, but the most logical explanation relates to the panda gestation period. When compared to other bear species, the panda is pregnant for less time - anywhere between 95 and 160 days - thus producing less mature infant pandas. Once weaned off maternal milk, pandas essentially only eat bamboo which isn’t very nutritious. By having their tiny cubs grow outside the womb, mother pandas can focus their energy toward producing the much needed and high-fat milk their baby’s need.

So how do these extra fragile and dependent cubs turn into the cute baby pandas us humans know and love so well?

Despite the needy, frail and dependent state in which they are born, baby panda cubs grow, develop and learn incredibly quickly! By day two, they’ve developed a grey stubble that covers their entire body and will start to change into the ever known black and white colors within a week. Equally within a single week's time, panda offspring usually double their weight - thanks to suckling an approximate 14 times a day. Between the sixth and eighth week, panda cubs’ ears and eyes open, providing them with an increasing amount of independence. By 5 months, panda babies become little explorers and leave the den for the first time. For the next year, they integrate bamboo into their diet while they continue to learn, grow and develop into small pandas until fully weaning from their mothers milk by 18 months old. From their tiny beginnings, a typical 12 month old can already weigh 75 pounds!

If you think baby pandas are the cutest animals on earth, we at Vogeni agree with you. With their adorable black and white fur, captivating eyes and endearing expression, there’s no other bear we’d rather squeeze! If you’d like to snuggle and cuddle YOUR OWN panda baby, then head over to our website at Young or old, you can adopt a super-realistic and perfectly plush baby panda to call your own.