So why do the Panda Centers need incubators anyway?
It is very common for Giant Pandas to give birth to twins. Unfortunately, when twins are born, mother pandas will not care for both cubs. It is thought that the mother only has enough milk for one cub. In the wild, this means that only the stronger cub survives. In captivity, however, vets at the Panda reserves in China have developed a method of exchanging the cubs or “cub swapping”. The caretakers leave one cub with the mother for her to care for and place one in an incubator. Staff is in the nursery, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. After a week, the cubs are exchanged so both cubs will bond with their mother and receive her care. The mother accepts both babies, but only one at a time. When not with their mother, the cubs in the incubators receive formula supplements. There is an overall 90% survival rate with captive born cubs due to Incubators and formula.