PARIS–A giant panda named Huan Huan on loan from China in the Beauval Zoo (south of Paris) has given birth to two twin cubs early this morning.
The zoo says that the cubs are “very lively, pink and plump”, and that the mother panda is an excellent caretaker of her new babies. The birth is nothing short of a miracle as pandas often have great difficulty both breeding and carrying their pregnancies.
Huan Huan and her partner Yuan Zi are at the French zoo for ten years in order to continue good relations between France and China.
Because pandas’ external genitalia does not develop until cubs are a few months old, the babies’ genders are yet to be determined at this time. However, the Chinese experts at the zoo believe that they are both girls.
Delphine Delord, director of the Beauval Zoo, told the Associated Press, “We just lived a moment of rare intensity. These births are always very exceptional but they also bring some surprises.”
The twins will not be named before they’re 100 years old and within the next few years, they will be returned to China.
Pandas are still considered a vulnerable species, with less than 2,000 living in the wild in China.