The Cubbycake Chronicles Continues
It has been a highly emotional week for panda fans around the US and around the world. Panda Research centers in China continue to have success raising not only single cubs, but also twins, and last year, the first instance of surviving triplets occurred. In the US, however, we have only had one pair of surviving twins at Zoo Atlanta, known here affectionately as Bert and Ernie, or the Meihem twins.
Last Saturday’s birth of twins to Mei Xiang at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington DC caused great celebrations, not only among the panda faithful. In a world that seems to be going nuts with new random shootings every week, and natural disasters like the out of control wildfires in my home state of Washington, two new baby pandas seemed like just the thing to cheer ourselves up.
It was not to be. One of the cubs was too small and too weak to survive, and he died on Wednesday. My heart and sympathies go out to all the panda house staff at the SNZ. They have been working around the clock since the start of Mei Xiang’s labor. They are exhausted as well as heartbroken and they deserve our support. If this cub could have been saved, they would have done so.
The surviving cub is doing well. Mama Mei continues to prove herself an excellent mother. This is the first time we will have two cubs in residence at the same time at the SNZ. I can’t wait to visit and see the new cub, which will remain with Mei Xiang for about 18 months.
But that is the real world, and THIS is panda satire. So we take a moment to wipe our tears and blow our collective noses and get on with the show. I wanted to do a cartoon that commemorates the loss of this cub, without getting excessively maudlin. I hope you agree that this fills the bill.
And of course, it stars Pinky.
Be the Bear,
Bob T. Panda