Pandas are bad mamas

Life is cruel and brutal, I guess.

Ya Ya, a seven-year-old panda and new mother of twins, "appeared tired" when nursing the younger cub in a patch of grass, the paper said.

Her head sagged, her paws separated and her baby fell to the ground next to her. The panda then rolled on to her side and crushed her baby beneath her.

I remember that chronic exhaustion when our kids were piping hot and fresh from the uterus, too.


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It's not limited to just a few carnivorous species - in most species the biological interests of parents are significantly different than the offspring's interests, so Parent-offspring conflict is pervasive. Both behavioral and chemical tactics are deployed - the article mentions the presence of benzodiazepines in breast milk - it's a minor tranquilizer (new parents might want to use nature's hint).

I'd presume Ya-ya just goofed (but how common ARE twins among pandas?)

how common ARE twins among pandas?

Twin births are fairly common; however, in the wild, one of the twins is typically abandoned to die. In captivity, they try to save both twins, with some success.

In captivity, they try to save both twins, with some success.

"they" being the wildlife rehabbers, not the pandas, in this sentence.

Isn't this generally called "the heir and the spare"?

Mother has two, when one proves to do significantly better than the other the weaker of the pair is killed or abandoned to better the mother and stronger sibling's chance of survival.