A giant panda gives birth to twins in Washington Zoo
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A giant panda gives birth to twins in Washington Zoo

Double the panda cuteness.. Giant panda Mei Xiang has given birth to a
pair of cubs at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington. Mei gave birth to her first cub at 5:34 p.m. after her water broke about an hour beforehand. And about four and one-half hours later, at
10:07 p.m., a second cub arrived and both appear to be
healthy. Zoo officials said Mei picked up the cub soon
after giving birth and is being “a great mother”. After the second, surprise birth, one cub
was placed in an incubator in line with protocol when twins are born. Mei Xiang previously has given birth to two
surviving cubs: Tai Shan in 2005 and Bao Bao in 2013. She was artificially inseminated with frozen
sperm from a panda in China, and fresh sperm from the National Zoo’s male
panda. The gender of the cubs and which of the sperm
donors is the father will be determined later. No decision had been made yet about naming
the cubs. With a very low reproductive rate, particularly in captivity, panda’s natural
home is in a few mountain ranges in central China. There are about 1,600 giant pandas known to
be living in the wild and some 300 in captivity, mostly in China.


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