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Meet the Bao Twins!

A panda at Everland Zoo in South Korea gave birth to a pair of adorable cubs.
Two people in blue scrubs hold a pair of panda cubs.
Jung Yeon-je—AFP/Getty Images
Rui Bao (left) and Hui Bao are the adorable new additions at Everland Zoo in South Korea.

In July 2023, a zoo in South Korea got a double dose of cuteness. A giant panda named Ai Bao gave birth to twin cubs! 

The female cubs were born at Everland Zoo near Seoul, the nation’s capital city. At birth, they were pink and hairless, and they could fit in the palm of an adult’s hand. But by October, the cubs had grown to the size of large teddy bears. Zoo officials said they had started crawling and teething (growing teeth).

The zoo marked the 100th day since the twins’ birth by inviting the public to vote on the cubs’ names. The winning names were Rui Bao (which means “wise treasure”) and Hui Bao (which means “shining treasure”). The twins share the name Bao with their older sister, 3-year-old Fu Bao, their dad, Le Bao, and their mom, Ai Bao.

In the wild, pandas are found only in China. Le Bao and Ai Bao are on loan to Everland Zoo from China, which has loaned pandas out to many zoos around the world. Eventually, Le Bao and Ai Bao will be returned to China, along with their young.

But for now, many South Koreans are looking forward to meeting the twins. Everland Zoo says the cubs will be introduced to zoo visitors in person when they’re about 6 months old.

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Fun Fact

Pandas poop up to 40 times a day!
Four pandas in an outdoor setting with a speech bubble in which one panda says they are out of toilet paper again.
© Hungchungchih/Dreamstime.com; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Not Just Panda Food

Side by side of a view looking up from the floor of a bamboo forest and a complex structure made from bamboo.
© Italianestro/Dreamstime.com, © victor217/stock.adobe.com; Photo composite Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

In the wild, giant pandas are known to eat certain grasses, flowers, and herbs. But the food they eat the most by far is a tall grass called bamboo. Bamboo grows in many warmer parts of the world.

Bamboo is an amazing plant. Here are just a few reasons why.

  • Bamboo grows fast. Some types of bamboo can grow 1 foot (30 centimeters) per day!
  • Cutting bamboo makes it grow more. The more bamboo is cut down, the faster it grows.
  • Bamboo can help with pollution. Bamboo absorbs, or takes in, a gas called carbon dioxide from buildings and cars.
  • Bamboo can be used to build things. It’s so strong that it can be used instead of wood, brick, and even steel! 

What’s For Dinner?

© Creatas Video+/Getty Images Plus

Do giant pandas hunt animals, like other bears do? How much bamboo do they eat? And what is a red panda? 

You can learn more about pandas at Britannica!

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herbivore

Part of speech:
noun
Definition:
: an animal that only eats plants
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