There is cute, and then there's this. Seven panda cubs sleeping side by side atop a pink bed sheet in southwestern China's Sichuan province.
The pandas were all born in the space of three months at the Chengdu Panda Base, a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 with six pandas rescued from the wild. It's now home to about 100 pandas, making it one of the largest panda centers in the world, according to its website.
The pandas, four males and three females, were all born between July and September of this year, and this is the first group photo that has been released.
The oldest is a 3-month-old male named Oreo, who was born last July on the opening day of the London Olympics. His name was selected by 890,000 Internet users who voted for the name submitted by Rebecca Revich, a lawyer from Los Angeles and a finalist in Chengdu's "Pambassador" competition.
"Look at him, he's black and white sandwiched together, he looks like an Oreo," Revich said, according to a Chengdu news release. "Also, Oreo means beautiful in Greek, and I feel that pandas are the most beautiful animal in the world."
The photo of the pandas, the youngest of whom are twins Cheng Shuang and Cheng Dui born Sept. 12, was taken by another "Pambassador" finalist, Melissa Katz of New Jersey.
Katz and Revich are competing with 14 other finalists selected from more than 255,000 Facebook users to become one of three panda ambassadors who will embark on a one-year pambassadorship around the world to visit pandas living in different countries and promote conservation, according to the program.
The three winners will be announced on Nov. 16. While in China over the next two weeks the finalists will work with the baby pandas alongside their Chengdu caretakers.
The names of the other baby pandas are Xiao Qiao, Si Yi, Yuan Run and Miao Miao.
- Living Nature