Like all bears, Giant Panda babies are called cubs. Newborn cubs weigh 4 to 8 ounces and are about 6 to 8 inches long, about the size of a stick of butter. They are born pink, with almost no hair, and blind. At about 1 week they begin to develop their distinctive black and white markings and at about 5 to 7 weeks, they start to open their eyes.
The mother holds the cub to her chest, much like a human mother. In size, compared to their mothers, panda cubs are some of the smallest newborns. Giant Panda cubs are especially vulnerable since the mothers don’t use a den and hibernate as other bears do. In the wild, Giant Pandas nest in hollow tree trunks or caves. The newborns won’t be able to even stand on their own for nearly 4 months. New mothers occasionally don’t seem to know how to take care of their cubs. In captivity, they are then raised by caretakers using incubators in the nurseries at the Giant Panda Reserves or Zoos, and sometime special circumstances force caretakers to take unique measures to ensure the cubs thrive. Read more about the foster moms here.
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