• Kyodo


A giant panda in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, has given birth to healthy twin cubs, zookeepers said Wednesday.

Fourteen-year-old Rauhin gave birth to two females, each weighing 180 grams and measuring about 20 cm, on Tuesday night, according to officials at Adventure World, a theme park boasting both a zoo and an aquarium.

Rauhin mated with 22-year-old Eimei, whose Chinese name is Yong Ming, in July.

The park plans to ask the public for help in naming the cubs and will decide when to put them on view based on their health.

After giving birth to the first cub at 8:31 p.m., Rauhin picked it up with her mouth and began breast-feeding it, a zookeeper said. Rauhin produced the second cub at 11:33 p.m. while holding the first in her forelegs.

She began showing signs she was ready to go into labor at around 9 a.m., and her water broke five hours later. While giant pandas typically give birth one to two hours after their water breaks, the zookeepers said it was a difficult delivery that took more than six hours.

Tuesday’s twins bring the number of giant pandas born at Adventure World since 2000 to 14. The park currently houses seven pandas, the most in Japan.

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