Someone call the Guinness Book of World Records because Haizi the panda just became the oldest panda mother in the world, giving birth to twin cubs on July 30, at the ripe old age of 23.
Channel NewsAsia reports that the “senior” female panda had been moved to live out her golden days in a nature reserve. China’s Giant Panda Conservation and Research Center announced Thursday that, surprisingly, Haizi began to show signs of interest in courtship with a male panda in the spring … and four months later, the twin cubs arrived.
Note: A 23-year-old panda is equivalent to about 80 years old in human terms!
“Generally, the maximum breeding age for giant pandas is 20 years old, and pandas older than that are not encouraged to participate in breeding,” Li Desheng, a giant panda expert at the breeding center, said in a statement. “But Haizi’s success demonstrates the advanced degree of care offered at our center — it is a breakthrough in panda breeding.”
Haizi last gave birth to cubs when she was 19 years old. According to China.org, the average life span of the giant panda in the wild is about 15 years, but in captivity they have been known to live into their 20s, and very rarely, into their 30s.
from PEOPLE.com http://people.com/pets/worlds-oldest-panda-mom-has-twins/