A nine-year-old giant panda gave birth to twin cubs at a panda
research center Saturday in southwest China's Sichuan Province, according to local
The cubs, a female and a male, were born at midnight Saturday,
weighing 160 and 170 grams respectively.
Their mother, Princess, would take care of the daughter while
the son is put on artificial feeding in the research center of
Wolong Nature Reserve for Giant Pandas, said Li Desheng, vice
director of the center.
Princess was the first giant panda in the world that was brought
up by humans since birth. Born on August 8, 1998, Princess weighed
216 grams. However, her mom, Panda No.21, was scared by the newborn
and refused to feed her. Experts with the research center had to
milk the mother and feed Princess artificially.
Princess reacted similarly when she delivered her first twin
cubs in 2003. Experts used toys and VCDs to teach her how to nurse
To date, Princess has delivered eight cubs.
China made a major breakthrough in artificial panda breeding in
the 1990s, with the number of newborn captive cubs rising from nine
in 2000 to more than 20 last year.
This year has seen 16 panda cubs born in captivity.
The giant panda is one of the world's rarest animals, with about
1,590 living in the wild in China, mostly in the southwest part of
the country. Another 200 have been bred in captivity.
(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2007)