Sat, August 07, 2010
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Twin baby pandas born in China's Chengdu

2010-08-07 07:14:44 GMT2010-08-07 15:14:44 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The twin baby pandas are seen in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, Aug. 6, 2010. A panda named as Qizhen gave birth to twin baby pandas Friday afternoon in Chengdu. (Xinhua/Zhang Yujun)

The twin baby pandas are seen in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, Aug. 6, 2010. A panda named as Qizhen gave birth to twin baby pandas Friday afternoon in Chengdu. (Xinhua/Zhang Yujun)

CHENGDU - A giant panda gave birth to a pair of cubs, a male and a female, at a breeding center in southwest China's Sichuan province Friday.

The female cub was born first at about 1:00 pm, weighing 153 grams, and the male cub followed at about 3:45 pm, said Huang Xiangming, an expert with the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

"Both the cubs and their mother are in good condition now," Huang said.

The mother, 11-year-old "Qi Zhen," completed natural mating with "Lin Lin" in February this year and became pregnant in July, he said.

Generally speaking, if a captive-bred giant panda delivers a pair of cubs, she will feed only one of them and the keeper will take care of the other, Huang said.

"But Qi Zhen is different. She feeds both of her cubs in her arms," he said. "That is probably related to genetic factors as Qi Zhen's mother had fed twin pandas independently."

Giant pandas are among the world's most endangered species. Statistics from the State Forestry Administration show 1,590 pandas live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan, while more than 210 live in captivity.

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