14 Panda Cubs: See The Adorable Babies Sleep And Cuddle In China Zoo [VIDEO]

By Danny Choy on September 25, 2013 12:15 PM EDT

14 panda cubs
14 panda cubs at Chengdu Research Base are cuddling and sleeping together! (Photo: YouTube)

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding of China has shared a video of its adorable bundle of 14 panda cubs. According to chief Huang Xiangming, a total of 20 cubs were born to pandas from the research base between July 10 through August 30. 17 panda cubs survived. Two panda cubs were twins that were born at Zoo Atlanta on July 15. Another cub was born in Spain.

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The sight of 14 panda cubs is not only irresistably cute, but also remarkably rare. Pandas live generally solitary lives as adults. Only about 1,500 pandas are left in the wild. According to the IUCN, giant pandas have been classified as endangered animals since 1990.

Giant pandas are known to be exceptionally challenging to breed. According to the China Daily newspaper, the 14 panda cubs were bred artificially. In the wild, a female in heat leaves her scent marks to alert any males that happen to pass by. Female pandas are receptive to breeding only two or three days a year, resulting to extremely low odds of mating due to the narrow time window. In captivity, keepers can better encourage the male and female pandas to mate when the time is right. Sometimes, breeders resort to artificial insemination.

Of the 14 panda cubs, the largest, Meng Meng, weighed 9 pounds and the tiniest, Ya Yi, weighed just 1.5 pounds. Newborns are especially vulnerable to diseases or complications caused by improper feeding during the first ten days. In order to ensure the health of the 14 panda cubs, researchers at Chengdu wear blue surgical gowns, face masks, and hairnets to minimize contaminating the panda's environment.

Be sure to see the video below to experience the incredible 14 panda cubs!

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