1. ITV Report

Time-lapse video captures first 100 days of panda cubs

A time-lapse video has captured the first 100 days of two giant panda cubs born in the United States.

Mei Lun and Mei Huan were born at Zoo Atlanta in July this year and the three-minute video, which has been viewed nearly 250,000 times, documents their development.

One of the cubs a day after their birth. Credit: Zoo Atlanta

In the first 100 days the cubs, who were the first twins to be born in the US and survive, go from tiny pink, blind and toothless creatures to pandas with thick black and white hair.

Mei Lun and Mei Huan started life as pink, blind and toothless creatures. Credit: Zoo Atlanta

The names Mei Lun and Mei Huan, which comes from a Chinese phrase meaning "something indescribably beautiful and magnificent", were revealed at a naming ceremony on the 100th day of their lives.

The pair spent the first couple of months sleeping. Credit: Zoo Atlanta

When cubs are born they are about 900 times smaller than their mothers and spend a lot of time sleeping after the birth as their eyes develop.

By day 16 the twins started developing their black and white fur. Credit: Zoo Atlanta

It is only after around 75 days the cubs begin crawling and a zoo keeper from Atlanta said the pandas are now trying to stand-up.

A month after they were born both Mei Lun and Mei Huan have thick black and white fur. Credit: Zoo Atlanta

The pair are the fourth and fifth offspring of pandas Lun Lun and Yang Yang and zoo staff will rotate the pandas with their mother so one is not neglected.

The pandas start crawling around day 65. Credit: Zoo Atlanta
The twin panda cubs take a while to develop their eyes. Credit: Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta said in the YouTube comments:

In the wild, giant panda moms typically care for only one cub when twins are born.

Thus, it is normal in the wild for only one of the twins to survive. Giant panda twins have survived in zoos within and outside of China.

Usually this is accomplished by rotating the cubs with the mother for the first few months.

However, giant pandas are born very tiny, and there is a high risk of mortality in the first few months.

– Zoo Atlanta
The pandas at 100 days. Credit: Zoo Atlanta

The video documenting the cubs first 100 days comes after keepers at Edinburgh Zoo said their giant panda Tian Tian was not pregnant.

Experts believe the panda, who was artificially inseminated, had a miscarriage.