Giant pandas removed from endangered species list, twin cubs born in Atlanta

ATLANTA– It was an exciting day at Zoo Atlanta when giant panda, Lun Lun, gave birth to twin cubs. This is the first set of giant pandas born in the US in 2016.

The twins were born Saturday morning. Experts expect zoo guests to meet the new cubs in December or early January.

Lun Lun and 18-year-old male panda Yang Yang have seven offspring together. The pair’s first three cubs live at China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Twins Mei Lun and Mei Huan, born in 2013, live at Zoo Atlanta.

Also, world conservation leaders downgraded the status of giant pandas from “endangered” to “vulnerable”.

The announcement came Sunday during the IUCN World Conservation Congress—the largest and most comprehensive environmental decision-making forum in the world—after the panda conservationist committee submitted its findings.

This means that while threats to pandas’ survival remain high, indicators show the species is in less danger of extinction than before, and conservation efforts are working.

Nearly 2,000 giant pandas are now believed to exist in the wild, and a majority of those individuals are adults.