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Panda babies at Berlin Zoo: Meng Meng’s a mum!

Meng Meng, one of two panda bears at Berlin’s Zoo, has become a mum — and the city has fallen in love with the odd-looking panda cubs.

One of Berlin's panda bears.
The panda bears of Berlin’s zoo have become parents (Photo: Lena Ganssmann).

It’s a dog’s life, being a darling of the masses. In the past, panda lady Meng Meng excelled with rebellious behaviour (walking backwards, eating the decorative bamboo). Now she’s chosen the classic path: she became a mum! Coincidentally, mayor Michael Müller was casually in China when the news reached him. A week ago, Meng Meng gave birth to twins — and we’re in love with the tiny little aliens. So much so that we’re constantly refreshing the zoo’s panda blog. Obsessed? Us?

But, despite having been born in Berlin, the as yet unnamed cubs are still owned by China. Berlin’s zoos have to pay a ‘rental fee’ of millions of dollars to host them, and after four years they will travel back to China to live at Chengdu’s research base for panda breeding.

However, there is apparently already a spot of tension: some Berliners are proposing the names ‘Hong’ and ‘Kong’, or ‘Joshua Wong’ and ‘Agnes Chow’ for the cubs, two of the best-known pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. The Chinese government, as well as Chinese media and social media users, take these suggestions as an affront.

Translated by Aida Baghernejad


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