First Artificially-bred Twin Panda to Give Birth

Yaya, one of the 13 pregnant pandas being raised in southwest China's Sichuan Province, is likely to give birth soon, an expert at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base speculated Wednesday.

Born on August 24, 1990, Yaya and her brother, Xiangxiang, became the world's first artificially-bred twins to survive.

Yaya has been pregnant for 155 days, said Li Guanghan, director of the breeding base.

Her appetite decreased less than a month ago, and now she only drinks water and milk. Yaya spends most of her time sleeping inside her clean quarters.

Panda's gestation varies from some 80 days to 180 days, so it's hard for experts to judge the exact due date for a panda, according to Li.

Staff at the breeding base have started a 24-hour watch on Yaya in case she suddenly goes into labor.

The breeding center has built air-conditioned delivery rooms for the pregnant pandas, which cost some four million yuan (over U.S. dollars 480,000).

A small garden that can be accessed by each of the delivery rooms has also been prepared for the pregnant pandas' relaxation.

(People's Daily 08/15/2001)

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