SAINT ENIAN, FRANCE. According to the Beauval Zoo, the giant panda Juan Huang, donated to France, gave birth to twin cubs very early on Monday.
The twins, born around 1 a.m., are the second and third cubs of Huang Huang and her partner Yuan Tzu after the first panda born in France, Yuan Meng, in 2017.
“Two pink babies. They are perfectly healthy. They look big enough. They are great, ”said Rodolphe Delord, President of the ZooParc de Beauval in Saint-Aignan, central France.
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Breeding pandas in captivity or in the wild is known to be difficult. Experts say that few pandas get in the mood or even know what to do.
To complicate matters further, the window for conception is small, as female pandas are in estrus only once a year for about 24-48 hours.
Huang Huang and her partner Yuan Tzu – Star Attractions in Beauval – were delighted by zoo officials in March when they managed to make “contact”, as they put it, eight times over the weekend.
Veterinarians also performed artificial insemination just in case.
Huang Huang’s first cub, Yuan Meng, now weighs over 100 kilograms (220 lb) and is due to be shipped to China this year, where an estimated 1,800 giant pandas live in the wild and another 500 are in captivity.
Huang Huang’s newborns will not be named for 100 days, and Peng Liyuan – the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping – must choose what to call them, the zoo said.