Twin giant pandas, which were thought to be male, turn out to be female at Zoo Atlanta. These cubs weren’t the only pandas that had the wrong gender assigned to them through zoo paperwork. According to Reuters on Dec. 13, three young giant panda cubs born at the Atlanta zoo were thought to be boys, but they turn out to be girls.
The mistake in gender assignment was made when they were getting ready to send Po, a three-year old panda, to China. An examination determined the panda to be female and not male as they first thought. This prompted the zoo officials to do DNA testing on both Po and the twin panda cubs.
Low and behold, not just one mistake was made when documenting their gender, but three mistakes were made. All three of these pandas were documented as male, but instead they are female.
The cubs, Mei Lun and Mei Huan are little girls, not little boys. Not that it makes too much of a difference, it is not like they have an entire wardrobe that they now have to change, but it would make a big difference if any mating was planned in the future.
Zoo Atlanta went through this once before in 2011 with one of the pandas born at their zoo. Mei Lan, who was believed to be a girl, turned out to be a boy panda. Keisha Hines, Zoo Atlanta’s spokesperson said that gender is difficult to determine in young pandas.
Many may say with the all these wrong calls, determining the gender of a young panda is almost next to impossible if the track record so far is any indication.