“The bears are pink, very healthy, they look big enough and pretty,” Rodolphe DeLord, president of the Zoe Parc de Beauval in Saint-Aignan, told AFP. The zoo’s leadership was thrilled in March when Huan Huan – “happy” in Chinese – and her partner Yuan Zi, as she called him, were able to make “contact” eight times in the weekend. The vets also performed IVF just to be safe.
Breeding pandas, in captivity or in the wild, is difficult, because few specimens, according to experts, “adapt to the mood” or know what to do in this case. The very short time frame for fertilization makes it even more difficult. Female pandas are fertile for 24-48 hours only once a year.
Huan Huan’s twins will not be named for 100 days. The zoo said Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, could choose their names. The cubs have an older brother Yuan Meng, who was born on August 4, 2017. He was the first panda born in France. His parents are a star attraction at the zoo between Tours and Bourges (Loir-et-Cher).
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