“Magnificent” giant pandas are making good progress in France – .

“Magnificent” giant pandas are making good progress in France – .

Huan Huan, a giant panda loaned to France, gave birth to two cubs two weeks ago. According to officials at Beauval Zoo, the couple has now passed “the critical period”.

Zoo vets were delighted to confirm that in the first 10 days the cubs had doubled in weight and the time spent in the incubators, used to monitor their body temperature, was slowly decreasing.

Baptiste Mulot, chief veterinarian at Beauval Zoo said: “They alternate between incubator and breastfeeding on the mother, that is to say that the babies are weighed, then placed on their mother to suckle then weighed again then they sleep. in the incubator. “

Mother Huan Huan gave birth around 1 a.m. on August 2, the third time she gave birth with her partner Yuan Zi.

The first panda born in France arrived in 2017 and zoo staff are thrilled because breeding in captivity and in the wild is notoriously difficult.

“Both babies are perfectly healthy. They look pretty big. They are magnificent, ”said Rodolphe Delord, president of the Saint-Aignan Zoo in central France.

Experts say reproduction is often hampered by pandas’ low libido and lack of regular practice. Additionally, female pandas are only fertile once a year for 48 hours, making the conception window extremely small.

Huan Huan and Yuan Zi managed to “make contact,” as zoo officials said, eight times in a weekend in March, and vets also performed artificial insemination, just to be sure.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), 1,864 giant pandas live in the wild and 500 others in captivity.

Staff have temporarily named the babies Little Snow and Cotton Flower, but they will be given their permanent names 100 days after birth – which will be chosen by Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The pandas are on loan to the zoo from China.

Video editing: Pedro Duarte

Cover image: Guillaume Souvant AFP


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