ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta's twin giant panda cubs turn out to be female

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Atlanta Zoo officials said on Friday that twin giant panda cubs, the first to be born and survive in the United States, have both turned out to be female.

Giant Panda Lun Lun picks up her panda cub Mei Lun
Giant Panda Lun Lun picks up her panda cub Mei Lun to nurse him as her other cub Mei Huan sleeps at her feet at the Atlanta Zoo in Atlanta, Georgia November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Tami Chappell

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Atlanta Zoo officials said on Friday that twin giant panda cubs, the first to be born and survive in the United States, have both turned out to be female.

The zoo, which initially had identified both cubs as male after they were born in July, said DNA testing had now shown they are both female.

"Prior to the time they are at least 3 years old, there are no obvious external cues as to their sex," the zoo said in a statement.

Members of the public this fall helped choose the twins' names, Mei Lun and Mei Huan, which come from a Chinese idiom meaning "something indescribably beautiful and magnificent."

The DNA tests showed a third panda, 3-year-old Po also initially believed to be male, is female as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

Po and the twin cubs were conceived through artificial insemination with the same set of parents.

Giant pandas are endangered and live only in a few mountain ranges in central China. An estimated 1,600 live in the wild and about 300 in captivity, mostly in China, zoo officials said.

(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Christopher Wilson)

Related Topics: WILDLIFE
What To Read Next
Featuring the prep honor roll, N.D. Class A and B prep basketball polls, N.D. East Region girls wrestling duals tournament schedule and much more!
The Tuesday, Jan. 31, game between Sioux Falls Lincoln and Watertown was forced to move after junior JT Rock broke the rim with a powerful two-handed dunk. Rock is committed to play at Iowa State.
Featuring prep basketball results from throughout the region, boys and girls hockey scores, area college basketball conference standings, and much more!
Featuring area prep hockey results, boys and girls basketball scores, local boys wrestling results, and much more!