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Time for our close-up: The astonishing blue-eyed gaze of the twin panther cubs

Posted on 2:11 PM by Sameer Shah

Meet Larisa and Sipura, the newborn panther twins that were introduced to the world in Berlin yesterday.

Still smaller than a domestic housecat, their black fur is sleek and their bright blue-green eyes stare unflinchingly at the cameras.




The pair, both female, were born on April 26 at the Tierpark Zoo in Berlin.

Black panther cubs are born with their eyes closed, not opening them until about ten days after the birth.

They do not gain enough mobility to move around until two or three weeks after the birth - and do not start to eat meat until they are nearly three months old.

Their permanent canine teeth do not come in until the age of one - and by the age of two panthers in the wild are usually independent of their mothers.




In the wild black panthers usually live for up to twelve years - but, born in captivity, Larisa and Sipura may grow to be 20 years old.

The term 'black panther' can be confusing, with scientists agreeing it does not refer to a specific sub-species of big cat.

Most generally, the term refers to any type of big cat with a black coat - though the only scientifically recognised definitions are a black leopard and a black jaguar.


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