Why Do Giant Pandas Abandon One Twin? (Explained & Solved!)

You must have heard a lot about giant pandas and how they nurse their younger ones. Now, you feel like asking “why do giant pandas abandon one twin?”

Do you want to know why? Let’s keep reading.

In the wild when giant pandas give birth to twins, one is usually stronger than the other. So, mother pandas will always raise the stronger one and abandon the weaker one to die. 

This is because she does not have enough energy and breast milk to take care of both.

Now that you know why giant pandas abandon one twin, won’t you also love to learn why they have these twins?

Read below!

Why Do Pandas Have Twins?

It’s not uncommon for giant pandas to give birth to twins in the wild. However, since most mother pandas only take care of one, the other would die.

In captivity, pandas mostly have twins because of artificial reproduction technology.

Scientists achieved this through that process called “artificial insemination”.

This method is explained by Yu Jianqiu, a giant panda expert and supervisor of the Chengdu Zoo as a process of impregnating a female panda with two or more male pandas’ sperm after mating.

Do Panda Moms Love Their Babies?

Photo of a mother panda carrying and taking care of her babies.

Yes, panda moms love their babies.

Panda mothers carry their babies in their arms, cuddle and give them milk just like human mothers do to their children.

They take good care of them from the day they are born until they are up to 1-3 years old when they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Panda cubs need this love and protection from their mothers because they are helpless when they are delivered.


Do Pandas Crush Their Babies?

No! A panda mother will not crush her babies intentionally.

Most times when they give birth to twins, the babies face the risk of being crushed by mistake.

This happens because of their small size and vulnerability.

According to NBC News, in 2006, a  panda in a Chinese zoo accidentally crushed its baby to death after abandoning the other twin to die.

These made the zoo watchers pay extra attention to panda twins whenever they are born

They do this to ensure the panda’s mom doesn’t harm them accidentally.

How Many Babies Can A Panda Have At Once?

Photo of two baby pandas delivered at once.
Credit To China.org

Generally, a panda gives birth to one cub at a time.

The birth of twins happens often when pandas are in captivity and artificial means of reproduction are used.

Though the natural rate of reproduction in pandas is one cub in two years, Giving birth to twins is an added advantage to their evolution.

The reason is that twin birth increases the chances that one out of the twins will survive to adulthood.

When the mother panda notices that one of her babies is stronger than the other, she focuses on it and leaves the other one.

But if it is in a panda breeding house, the professionals will try to see that both babies are raised.

They ensure this comes to pass by rotating the two cubs between their mom and the incubator every few hours.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the pandas’ mother abandons one twin because she does not have enough energy and breast milk to take care of the two cubs.

Pandas primarily have twins because of genetics. However, artificial insemination plays a major role in this in captivity.

A Pandas’ mom loves her babies a lot. She shows it by defending and caring for them until they are old enough.

She may not intentionally want to hurt or crush them, however, it can happen due to the panda cub’s tiny size.

Lastly, giant pandas give birth to a single cub at once except in rare and special circumstances as earlier mentioned.

Click here to read All About Panda Cubs.