Chengdu cubs debut: The cutest panda photo ever?
Here is your cuteness ration for the rest of the year.
The Chengdu Panda Base in China yesterday released a photograph (above) of seven panda cubs born in the Sichuan-based breeding center between July and September in 2012.
This is the first group photo taken of these baby pandas. Four of them are male and three are female.
The oldest of the seven is called Oreo (in Chinese 奥莉奥, back row right), a boy cub born on the opening day of the London Olympics (July 28) to father Yong Yong (勇勇) and mother Li Li (莉莉).
The youngest are twins, Cheng Shuang (成双) and Cheng Dui (成对, front row middle), born on September 12.
The picture was taken by New Jersey-native Melissa Katz, who is a finalist in the ongoing Pambassador Competition, a global campaign to recruit three panda ambassadors.
Katz and 15 other Pambassador finalists are in Chengdu for the next two weeks to learn about panda conservation and prepare for the final competition on November 17.
Tourists can visit these seven panda cubs at the Sunshine and Moon Nursery House at the Chengdu Panda Base. However, visitors are not allowed to hold them at the moment.
Chengdu Panda Base announced in a press release that the number of baby pandas it has bred in 2012 totaled eight as it also counts in overseas-born cubs whose parent, or parents, was bred by the company.
Liang Bang (良浜), a 12-year-old female panda bred by the Chengdu base, gave birth to a girl cub, You Bang (优浜), in Japan on August 10, according to Chengdu Panda Base.
Tourists can see You Bang in the Wakayama Adventure Zoo in Japan.
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The Chengdu Panda Base is open to tourists year-round and provides tri-lingual guide services (Mandarin, English and Japanese). A taxi to the base from Chengdu city center costs about RMB 30 (US$4.70).