AFP
Wire Service
1 minute read
4 Aug 2021
11:04 am

WATCH: Panda gives birth to baby twins in France

AFP

Huan Huan, a giant panda on loan to France, has given birth to twin cubs in a zoo. Panda reproduction is known for being a difficult task.

The giant panda Huan Huan, which means 'Happy' in Chinese, and her twin cubs are seen inside their enclosure after she gave birth at Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, Central France, on 1 August2021. Huan Huan, the female panda lent by China to the ZooParc de Beauval (Loir-et-Cher), gave birth to two twins in good health in the night of Sunday to Monday, noted a journalist of the AFP. The two small pandas, born shortly after 01:00 Monday, come to enrich the panda family of Beauval, already strong of their father Yuan Zi and their big brother Yuan Meng, born on 4 August 2017. Picture: Guillaume Souvant/AFP

Huan Huan, a giant panda on loan to France, gave birth to twin cubs very early Monday, according to the Beauval zoo. 

The twins, born around 1 am, are Huan Huan and her partner Yuan Zi’s third cubs after the first panda ever born in France, Yuan Meng, in 2017.

“The two babies are pink. They are perfectly healthy. They look big enough. They are magnificent,” said Rodolphe Delord, president of Zoo-Parc de Beauval in Saint-Aignan, central France.

Panda reproduction, in captivity or in the wild, is notoriously difficult as experts say few pandas get in the mood or even know what to do when they do. 

Further complicating matters, the window for conception is small since female pandas are in heat only once a year for about 24-48 hours.

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Huan Huan and her partner Yuan Zi — the star attractions at Beauval — thrilled zoo officials in March when they managed to make “contact”, as they put it, eight times in a weekend.

Veterinarians also carried out an artificial insemination, just to be sure.

Huan Huan’s first cub, Yuan Meng, now weighs more than 100 kilogrammes (220 pounds) and is to be sent this year to China, where there are an estimated 1,800 giant pandas living in the wild and another 500 in captivity.

Huan Huan’s newborns will not be named for 100 days, with Peng Liyuan — the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping — set to chose what they will be called, the zoo said.