A pair of panda cub twins were born at a zoo in Berlin, Germany over the weekend, the first time the exotic animal has been born in the country.
Zoo Berlin tweeted a video of 6-year-old Meng Meng holding and nurturing the two baby pandas. The first panda was born at 6:54 p.m. and approximately one hour later, the second baby was born.
“Meng Meng became a mom – twice! We are so happy, we are speechless!” the zoo wrote in the post.
This photo provided by the Berlin Zoo on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, shows the newborn panda twins during their first care at the zoo after they are born. Female Panda Meng Meng gave birth to two panda babies in Berlin Zoo on Saturday evening Aug. 31, 2019. (Zoo Berlin via AP)
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Breeding pandas in captivity is extremely difficult, according to the BBC. There are approximately 400 pandas living in zoos around the world, set up via conversation projects with China, the pandas’ native country.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are 1,864 pandas in the wild in China. At birth, the creatures are the size of a stick of butter, but can grow up to 330 pounds as an adult, the organization added. They subsist on diets made up of bamboo and have to eat between 26 to 84 pounds of it every day.
Meng Meng has taken to her two new cubs, the zoo said. “She placed the tiny creature gently on her belly and began to warm it lovingly with her big paws, warm breath, and the soft fur of her cheeks,” the zoo told the Associated Press.
This photo provided by the Berlin Zoo on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, shows one the newborn panda twins during its first care at the zoo. Female Panda Meng Meng gave birth to two panda babies in Berlin Zoo on Saturday evening Aug. 31, 2019. (Zoo Berlin/Zoologischer Garten Berlin via AP)
The sex of the babies is currently unknown, but it has been confirmed by the zoo that the cubs were 136 and 186 grams at birth, respectively.
Meng Meng and her 9-year-old partner, Jiao Qing, are on loan from China, having arrived in Berlin in June 2017. In addition to mating with each other this past April, Meng Meng was also artificially inseminated to increase the likelihood of pregnancy.
Zoo Berlin said that Meng Meng and the babies would be out of sight from visitors until further notice, but Jiao Qing would continue to be on display.
China often donates pandas to zoos as a symbol of close relations with a country, the BBC added. There has been some speculation that U.S. zoos which have pandas could lose access to them due to the ongoing trade war between the two countries.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
SOURCE : https://www.foxnews.com/science/pink-panda-cubs-born-berlin-zoo