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Panda Huan Huan gives birth to twins, 1 survives

By Fu Jing in Brussels | | Updated: 2017-08-05 18:15
Panda Huan Huan gives birth to twins, 1 survives

One of  the twin cubs delivered by female panda Huan Huan is put into an incubator.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Only one cub survived and "is still doing well" after Chinese panda Huan Huan gave birth to twins on Friday night, according to ZooParc de Beauval, which is about 200 kilometers from Paris in central France.

"After these emotional moments, Huan Huan and her baby are still doing well," the zoo told China Daily via email on Saturday morning.

The zoo said the full-term male cub, the second born, weighs 142.4 grams. "The first born unfortunately died soon after his birth," the zoo said in its email.

Huan Huan, 9, became pregnant following artificial insemination. The cub and Huan Huan have been receiving intensive care from a team of experts at ZooParc de Beauval.

The zoo said the veterinary teams and French and Chinese caretakers are "totally dedicated to pandas," and a video of the birth will be visible on screens at ZooParc.

The zoo said the first born cub unfortunately died, despite all the care provided by its teams, who were helped by Chinese caretakers. Fortunately, Huan Huan is still very busy with her surviving cub.

"Huan Huan takes care of the second baby, licks it and takes it in her arms, but leaves out the first born, as is often the case in nature," the zoo said.

Zoo director Delphine Delord told China Daily in a previous interview that a team of 10 people, including French and two Chinese experts, were involved in the panda birth.

After delivery, Delord said her team prepared panda milk, which is brought from China, for the cub.

Delord said the cub is not named yet and traditionally, the name will be given by the Chinese.

The team will make a report to French first lady Brigitte Macron, who, according to Delord, will become the panda's "godmother".

"I feel very excited because it is Huan Huan"s first baby and the first panda baby birth in France. It is a very important birth," Delord said.

Huan Huan and Yuan Zi, also aged 9, arrived in France in 2012 but they failed to mate during the 2-3 days a year a female panda can conceive,

Delord said she felt proud that Huan Huan and Yuan Zi have already helped boost the relationship between China and France.

This year, China and Europe have intensified panda diplomacy. Two pandas arrived in the Netherlands in April and in Berlin in June, while agreements have been signed between China and Finland and Denmark, in April and May, respectively.

Apart from France, the Netherlands and Germany, pandas have settled down in Belgium, the UK, Austria and Spain.

Xiang Chen contributed to the story in Brussels

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