Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pups and Pandas

Two abandoned red panda cubs are thriving at a zoo in China - after being adopted by a dog.

The cubs were ignored by their mother after it gave birth in front of a crowd at Taiyuan Zoo in China's Shanxi province, reports Wuzhou Daily.

"No one knew she was pregnant. Her thick fur and plump body helped cover her secret," said keeper Ha Guojiang.

"She may have got scared seeing so many staring eyes, and has refused to nurse her cubs since birth."

The zoo urgently needed a replacement mother if the cubs were to live and found a dog which had recently given birth on a neighbouring farm.

The dog is now raising the two cubs like its own offspring - sometimes even refusing to feed her own pup.
At three weeks old, the baby cubs have not yet opened their eyes but have doubled in length to 20cms (8ins).
There are believed to be fewer than 2,500 adult red pandas in the world. Unlike the better known giant pandas, red pandas resemble raccoons with long bushy tails.


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