News

This Panda Has No Idea That She's Actually Raising Twins

If you've ever doubted that nature documentaries are the greatest gift to humanity since fire, we humbly recommend that you check out this clip from BBC Earth about a panda mother who doesn't realize she's raising twins. It is both informative and adorable, which are two of the best things a video can be. Also, it may sound like zookeepers are playing a weirdly elaborate trick on a moderate-sized bear, but we promise there's a good reason.

Though nearly half of panda births result in twins, mother pandas will often give their affection and attention to one -- meaning one of those panda children will starve. That's not because pandas are jerks. According to the David Attenborough's narration in the video, "It's thought that they don't have sufficient milk or energy for two."

Starving baby pandas is clearly something no one in the world wants, so zookeepers had to find a workaround. That's how we get to Lee Lee, the panda in this video, periodically having her babies switched out at least ten times a day, with one in an incubator and one on her rather large belly. 

To be clear, there are a lot of heart-warming close-ups for baby pandas in this video. But you'll also learn a lot about how a little honey water and a lot of patience make for a technique has a near-100% survival rate. That's important as they're a formerly endangered species, and any panda's life is a victory. 

h/t Mashable

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

James Chrisman is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @james_chrisman2.