Giant panda gives birth to twins in China
A giant panda today gave birth to twins at a breeding center in China's southwest Sichuan province, the fifth pair of pandas born at the center this year.
China: A giant panda today gave birth to twins at a breeding center in China's southwest Sichuan province, the fifth pair of pandas born at the center this year.
The female cubs weighed 110 grams and 101 grams respectively, according to the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center.
The mother, named Qiyuan, has given birth four times in the past.
"After giving birth, she caressed and licked the babies, developing strong maternal and nursing experience," Wu Kongju, a panda expert at the centre said.
Pandas are in the high season of reproduction, and experts at the center said they have gone to great lengths to take care of the mothers and their babies.
According to official figures released in May, there are more than 1,300 wild pandas in Sichuan, 15 per cent more than 10 years ago. The number of captive pandas in Sichuan is more than 360, accounting for 86.3 per cent of all captive pandas nationwide, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China aims to increase the population of giant pandas living in captivity to 500 by 2020 with the current number of the endangered animals living in santuaries is at 422 at the end of last year.
In 2015, 43 cubs were born in captivity and 40 survived with 28 being twins, according to a statement by the State Forestry Administration (SFA). China aims to increase the captive giant pandas population to 500 by 2020.
A total of 1,864 giant pandas live in the wild in China. The country has 67 panda sanctuaries, covering 53.8 per cent of their habitat and 66.8 per cent of the wild population.
In the last five years, four giant pandas were successfully reintroduced into the wild.