A giant panda has given birth to twin cubs at the ZooParc de Beauval in central France – in what officials say is an “exceptional” event. Huan Huan’s cubs were born in the early hours of Monday, weighing just 149g (0.3lb) and 129g respectively. “They are very lively, pink and plump,” the zoo said in a statement.
Huan Huan gave birth to the twins at around 1 a.m. (2300 UTC, Sunday) at Zoo-Parc de Beauval in Saint-Aignan, central France. They are Huan Huan, who is on loan from China, and her partner Yuan Zi’s third cubs after they produced the first panda ever born in France, Yuan Meng, in 2017. Panda reproduction – both in captivity and in the wild – is notoriously difficult, experts say, as few of the bears native to China get in the mood.
Experts say few pandas get in the mood for mating or even know what to do once they enter heat. Additionally, the window for conception is small since female pandas are in heat only once a year for about 24-48 hours. Huan Huan’s first cub, Yuan Meng, now weighs more than 100kg 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.