Inside Zoo Atlanta's panda nursery - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Inside Zoo Atlanta's panda nursery


CBS Atlanta News gets a behind the scenes experience inside the panda nursery at Zoo Atlanta. We were there to document the panda twins' weekly check-up.

"We start by listening to his heart, lungs, make sure all is good," said veterinarian Sam Rivera.

The cubs are eight weeks old and Rivera said they are right where they should be.

"Both have their eyes open. And we've been following every milestone and their development. Compared to other cubs they have hit those landmarks," Rivera said.

The cubs get a weigh in, then doctors check their body length, length of their paw, tail, arms and legs.

"So we keep track of that, not only to monitor development, but also to compare to other cubs around the world," Rivera said.

The twins are the first panda twins born in the United States in more than 25 years. Right now they do what most other panda cubs do: eat and sleep most of the time.

Mom Lun Lun has one cub at a time. They're swapped about every four hours, but that's about to increase to six. In a few months, all three will be together. Until then, does mom know she had twins?

"At this point, I don't know. I don't think so especially now since they're the same size. It will be interesting to see when she has both of them," Rivera said.

Rivera's excitement about the twins is contagious, and it's shared by the entire Zoo Atlanta staff.

"It's such a tight group and we've had so much support that it makes a big difference that we've been able to work with a neat group of people doing something so special," Rivera said.

The next big milestone for the twins will be moving and then walking. That comes with months three and four.

And holding with Chinese tradition, the cubs won't be named until they are 100 days old. Zoo Atlanta will have a naming contest, which they plan to announce soon.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly