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Giant Panda Twins Born in China [Video]

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Jun 24, 2013 04:23 AM EDT
Giant panda
Giant panda has a high diversity in genetic variation, study finds. (Photo : REUTERS/Alfred Cheng Jin)

A Giant Panda has given birth to twins in the Sichuan Province of Southwest China. This is the first incident of panda twins being born this year, claim local conservationists.

The female panda, Haizi gave birth to a male and a female panda, Saturday, according to Xinhua News Agency. The pandas were born 4:54 p.m. local time.

                              

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Workers at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda at the Wolong Nature Reserve have confirmed that the newborn pandas are healthy. The female hasn't yet released the first-born panda from her embrace. The second-born panda is a female weighing about 79.2 grams.

Haizi became pregnant after mating with Bai Yang and Yi Bao in March, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Giant Pandas are solitary creatures that go to extreme lengths to avoid contacts with each other. Most individual pandas live in the remote, mountainous regions in central China and about 100 individuals live in zoos. Female giant pandas give birth to twins only occasionally, but don't always take care of both twins, abandoning one of them. There has been just one known case of a giant panda giving birth to a triplet, which also took place at the Wolong Breeding Centre.

Giant Pandas have a very low reproduction rate as the females are in estrus ( in heat) for only 12 to 25 days each spring. During this brief window, they can mate only within two to seven days. Pandas are usually fertile for just about 24 to 36 hours.

According to World Wildlife Fund, the number of Giant Pandas in the wild is increasing, mostly due to conservation efforts from various agencies and the support of local Chinese government. The last full survey of panda population in the wild was conducted in 2004 which revealed that there are about 1,600 pandas in the wild.

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