Belgian zoo announced on Friday the birth of “extremely rare” twin baby giant pandas.
The Pairi Daiza zoo said the safe delivery of twins, one male and the other female, on Thursday represented a “new hope” for the charismatic black and white bear, of which fewer than 2,000 now live in the wild as per World Wildlife Fund.
The mother Hao Hao showed signs of going into labour on Wednesday evening and gave birth to the 160-gram male baby on Thursday afternoon, under careful monitoring by Belgian and Chinese experts, followed by the female, weighing 150 grams, two hours later.
The zoo president Eric Domb said: “We are very proud … The birth of these two babies is a tremendous reward for the huge work carried on every day by all our teams. This double birth is marvellous news for this extraordinary species.”
The zoo authorities said that the next few days for the twins are extremely crucial. They would be a constant watch to make sure Hao Hao feeds and cares for them properly. To give the new mother a rest, keepers will put one of the babies at a time in an incubator and feed it with a bottle.
However, the zoo warned there may not be a happy outcome for at least one of them, “When you have twin births with giant pandas one of the babies often dies.”
On a 15-year loan from China, Hao Hao and her mate Xing Hui were feted on their arrival in Belgium in 2014 and quickly became one of the main attractions at Pairi Daiza.
Their first baby was born in June 2016 and names Tiao Bao, or “treasure of heaven”.
Giant pandas are notoriously tricky reproducers and Pairi Daiza is funding a Belgian researcher as she seeks to develop a test that would allow scientists to tell the difference between the “false” pregnancies pandas sometimes exhibit and real ones.
Source : Various