Po and De De, the two pandas twins (both males) who were born in Madrid Zoo Aquarium last September 7th, 2010 where they were conceived through artificial insemination in a joint effort by Spain’s National Research council and scientists from China, received a especial visitor this week at the zoo for their first ride outside. They are the first offspring for their mother Hua Zui Ba with partner Bing Xing, arrived in Madrid in 2007 on a 10 year loan from China and in four years the twins pandas will be transferred to China in Chengdu, where they will live in freedom with other 1,600 congeners.
Since the twins were born they have been protected in an enclosure where they could only be seen through a glass, but now that they are 7 months and weigh around 12 kilos, zoo managers have decided that it is time they begin to take their first rides on the outside. And in this first official tour they had a very especial guest: Queen Sofia of Spain, who visited them for the first time when they were born and was very excited to have so close to these gentle animals but now, in her second visit they were a bit apprehensive with her but later began to play and they even bite her once.
These are some photos of Queen's
first visit to the twins babies
Po and De De (whose Chinese name means "innocent nature" and "Madrid") are the only panda twins born in captivity, something very difficult to achieve in this endangered species, as mothers raise their children one by one and when two are born one of them dies. Currently there is only a baby panda in Vienna Zoo, but Madrid Zoo is the only one where you can see two pandas brothers.
The Zoo Aquarium in Madrid is considered as one of the most important institutions because of its commitment to conservation. And before Po and De De were born there was another famous panda in the zoo in Madrid, called Chulin, who was the first born in captivity outside of China until he died in 1996, he was the most beloved animal by visitors to the Madrid Zoo.
Aren't they cute?