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Twin panda cubs born in Japan: China's breeding center

08-12-2010 09:32 BJT

CHENGDU, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) - A giant panda gave birth to twins Wednesday morning at an animal park in Japan, a panda breeding research base in southwest China's Sichuan Province said Wednesday.

The male-female twin cubs were delivered at the Shirahama Animal Park in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, whose specialists are working with the park in panda breeding research, said in a statement.

The male cub, weighing 158 grams, was born first at 6:40 a.m. (Beijing Time), an hour earlier than his 123-gram sister.

"The cubs and their mother, Liang Bin, are in good conditions", the statement said.

Liang Bin conceived the cubs after mating with Yong Ming, another panda at the Japanese park, in March.

The 10-year-old mother panda was also born in Japan shortly after her mother, Mei Mei, came to Japan in July 2000 from Sichuan.

Besides Wednesday's delivery, Liang Bin had previously given birth to a pair of twins.

China and Japan jointly launched a panda breeding research program in 1994, after which 12 panda cubs have been born in Japan and 11 of them remain alive.

China has established the panda-breeding programs in collaboration with Japan, the United States and European countries. The program seeks to increase global understanding of the endangered species' feeding and breeding.

All the pandas born overseas belong to China.

Meanwhile, Sichuan is experiencing a panda "baby boom" with 16 cubs born so far this year in the Chengdu base and the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center.

More than 10 pandas are expected to give birth over the next one or two months at the Wolong center.

About 1,600 giant pandas live in the wilds of China, mostly in Sichuan Province and the northwestern provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu. Another 290 pandas are in captive-bred programs worldwide, mainly in the Chinese mainland.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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