Giant panda in French zoo gives birth to twin cubs, the first in France

Updated 2017-08-05 09:34:54 Xinhua
Photo taken on Aug. 4, 2017 shows a screen shot of the pregnant panda Huan Huan in ZooParc de Beauval in Saint-Aignan, France. The giant female panda Huan Huan, which is on loan to France from China, will give birth to the twins under the watchful eye of two Chinese birthing specialists on either Aug. 4 or 5. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

Photo taken on Aug. 4, 2017 shows a screen shot of the pregnant panda Huan Huan in ZooParc de Beauval in Saint-Aignan, France. The giant female panda Huan Huan, which is on loan to France from China, will give birth to the twins under the watchful eye of two Chinese birthing specialists on either Aug. 4 or 5. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

Huan Huan, the female panda which is on loan to France from China, has delivered twin cubs on Friday night.

In her first delivery, Huan Huan has given birth to two cubs at interval of a few minutes, said the zoo in a communique.

In the wild, female pandas raise only a cub, the "strongest", the one that has the most chances of survival, and abandon the second. Huan Huan has chosen the second cub and the first one was put immediately to an incubator.

In order to ensure the twins' survival, a team of experts will alternate the babies' feeding every two hours with Huan Huan so that she will take care of each one and that each one receives the breast milk.

In addition, two Chinese caretakers, specialized in baby pandas, arrived at the animal park to help to look after the panda family 24 hours a day and until January 2018. They will also teach Beauval team the first steps necessary for a good care of the newcomers.

The female panda and her male partner Yuan Zi arrived in central France's Beauval zoo in January 2012. They are on loan from China for ten years.

The female panda is only on heat once a year for two days.

There are about 2,000 pandas in the world.They classified as "vulnerable" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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