Giant Panda Twins Born in Southwest China

Created: 2013-06-24 10:24 EST

Category: China

A female giant panda has given birth to twins in southwest China's Sichuan province, the first pair ever born globally this year.

The panda, named "Haizi", gave birth to the first cub at 4:54 p.m. local time (0854 GMT) at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong on Saturday (June 22), and 10 minutes later the second cub was born.

The mother was yet to release the first cub from her embrace, but staff said it should be a healthy cub, given its large size and the volume of sounds it has been making.

The second cub is a female and weighs 79.2 grams, and has been placed in an incubator by breeders after its birth.

Considered a national treasure, pandas have come back from the brink of extinction but they remain under threat from logging, agriculture and encroachment.

There are an estimated 1,600 living wild in China, almost all in Sichuan. Around 300 are in captivity around the world, the vast majority of them inside China.

Tags: china  panda  zoo  animals  twins  sichuan