Good news arrived in the autumn. On the eve of the 70th birthday of the People's Republic of China, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding held a grand appearance event for the seven giant pandas born this year.
“New daddies” and “new moms”, the Internet celebrities, recently carried the cute baby pandas into the playground. Lively and active giant panda cubs gathered together, playing freely. From time to time, the new parents took care of their “children”, helplessly but happily watching these ignorant and naughty cute babies. The atmosphere was lively and festive.
This year, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding created two world records. “A Bao”, a giant panda returned from overseas, gave birth to a pair of twins with different genders, and they both weighed more than 200 grams at birth. They are the world's heaviest newborn giant pandas in captivity. The giant panda “Cheng Da” gave birth to “Cheng Lang”, the world's lightest newborn giant panda cub. It only weighed 42.8 grams, and weighed 37.9 grams after dehydration.
The giant panda cubs born at the base in 2019 are all presently growing healthily. “Cheng Lang”, the lightest giant panda at birth, has normal physiological indexes. Weighing 5,040 grams, she went from being less than a quarter of its elder sister's weight when she was born to 90 percent of the weight of his twin sister. The first 12 days after birth were precarious for “Cheng Lang” because she was unable to suck her mother's milk by herself. So the breeder took milk from her mother “Cheng Da”, and fed her by the hand. To the surprise of the experts, “Cheng Lang” had a strong desire to eat and she constantly sucked the nipple hard. As a result, the amount of milk she sucked was so large that she had no time to swallow it, and mile foam came out of her nose. Seeing this, experts immediately took measures to make a nipple with smaller holes for her, and constantly adjust the feeding position to ensure that “Cheng Lang” could eat safely. As we know, if “Cheng Lang” accidentally sucked milk into her lungs, her life could have being in danger. In this way, under the supervision of the expert team of the panda base around the clock, “Cheng Lang” grew up day by day. Eight days after her birth, experts at the base returned “Cheng Lang” to her mother. But because her mouth was too small, she was still unable to suck her mother milk by herself. It was not until two weeks after birth that “Cheng Lang” gradually got used to her mother's nipples and was finally able to eat milk independently from her mother.
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has repeatedly succeeded in helping underweight panda cubs to survive. On August 7 2006, the giant panda “Qi Zhen” gave birth to “Wu Yi”, named after its weight of 51 grams. Zhang Zhihe, Director of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, said at the time, “in order to nurse the little cub to life, science researchers overcame all the difficulties that threatened the cub's survival. ‘Wu Yi’ finally survived miraculously under the care of all the people.” The giant panda “Wu Yi” now weighs 132 kilograms. In June 2016, experts sent by the panda base went to Macao SAR Government of China to take care of the giant panda cub “Kang Kang” and managed to keep it alive. With a birth weight of just 53.8 grams, “Kang Kang”'s weight rose from 53.8 grams to 77.9 grams in less than a week under the 24-hour care of the base's expert team and the Macao SAR's giant panda management and protection team. The giant panda “Cheng Ji” gave birth to twins “Cheng Da” and “Cheng Xiao” on June 27, 2017. “Cheng Xiao” also has an infant name “Liu Yi”, because it weighed only 63 grams at birth and only 61 grams after dehydration. The three cubs with underweight birth weight are now healthy adult giant pandas. Over the years, the panda base has successfully raised underweight panda cubs so many times. This process has embodied the hard work and arduous efforts of the base's scientific researchers, and has been supported by a strong scientific research force. It can be said that in the process of starting from scratch, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has created miracles of life time and again. When the panda base was founded, it lacked provenance, capital, talents and technology. Over the past 32 years, two generations have passed through many obstacles and overcome numerous difficulties in the Futou Mountain, a barren area in the northern suburbs of Chengdu where even groundwater was not up to scratch. They have kept rising and surpassing, and transformed the stone monument that was used to lay the foundation into a monument of giant panda conservation in the world. In these 32 years, the inheritance between the two generations has continued. The older generation has kept watching from young to old, the new generation has been forging ahead and writing page after page of brilliance in the history of giant panda conservation. The captive panda research team at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has overcome many difficulties, and their scientific research and technology have tremendously improved. This is the epitome of the historical leap of the development of new China from nothing to strong.
According to a panda base official, at the appearance event, the number “70” displayed by the panda cubs expresses good wishes from seven baby pandas born this year for the 70th anniversary of the founding of new China. The 70 years of arduous journey has made our motherland prosperous and strong. Just like sunshine, it has lit up the future and pointed out the direction of our progress. Moreover, it has led the people of all ethnic groups in China from poverty to prosperity and from victory to glory. “Highlight the characteristics of the park city and take into account the ecological value” was what General Secretary Xi Jinping eagerly entrusted Chengdu to do during his visit to Sichuan Province in February 2018. With further developments on the construction of a beautiful and livable park city, one can perceive the gradual realization of a park city with harmonious coexistence between man and city, as well as man and nature. “The beautiful city surrounded by green plants, prosperous blossom, and clean water” - the beautiful scene a thousand years ago - will be reproduced in Chengdu. Last year, Chengdu was named the “happiest city in 2018” and is also one of the best tourist destinations in the world. The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding ranks second only to the Palace Museum in the top 10 scenic spots with excellent public reputation by the Report on Major Tourist Attractions in China from 2018 to 2019. The panda base received visitors of nearly 7.5 million person-times in 2018 and is expected to receive more than 9 million this year.
After years of trials and tribulations, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has become one of the major research bases in China for the implementation of the giant panda and other endangered wildlife ex-situ conservation projects. It is also China's and even the world's famous giant panda and other rare and endangered wildlife conservation research institutions which integrates giant panda research and breeding, conservation education, education tourism, and panda culture development. Over the years, the scientific research team at the panda base has made great efforts to advance technological breakthroughs and set several world records in giant panda breeding (such as the first instance of twin cubs being raised alive, the first instance of a panda in heat in autumn giving birth in winter, the first instance of an animal mother feeding twins at the same time, and the first instance of a panda cub with the lightest birth weight being raised alive). The panda base has become a specialized conservation organization for captive giant pandas around the world with strong comprehensive scientific research strength, many scientific and technological achievements and outstanding breeding achievements. Up to 2019, the panda base has conducted scientific research cooperation and exchange on giant pandas with 17 countries and regions, and currently carries out long-term international cooperative research and breeding programs on giant pandas with Japan, the United States, Spain, France, Canada, Germany, Denmark and other countries. The foreign institution with technical support from the panda base has bred two-thirds of the overseas giant pandas, to 34, with only a third of the population. The institution has the highest survival rate of giant pandas bred outside China. This year, “Meng Meng”, a giant panda from Chengdu, China who has been sojourning in Germany, gave birth to twin panda cubs on September 1. The successful birth of the giant panda in Germany showed the world-class professional and technical levels of the scientific research staff at the panda base. It is worth mentioning that all the pandas (from the panda base) reside in countries and regions participating in the international cooperative research on giant pandas breeding have given birth successfully. As of September 16, 2019, nine giant panda cubs out of six litters of the base this year have all survived. Among them, 7 cubs of 5 litters were born in the park of the panda base, and the 7 cubs survived; two cubs of one litter were born in Berlin Zoo, Germany, and the two cubs survived too. The results were encouraging. So far, the panda base has established the world's largest captive breeding ex-situ population of 204 giant pandas.
We wish our motherland more prosperous years! We wish the newborn giant panda babies born in 2019 healthy growth!