The world’s first set of captive-bred panda twins this year have been born in China.
The two female cubs were born last Wednesday to third-time mother Meng Meng at a breeding centre in Sichuan Province.
Footage released by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding shows 11-year-old Meng Meng delivering her two daughters in an enclosure.
The two female cubs were born last Wednesday in Chengdu, China, and are in good health
Keepers transferred them to an incubator after their mother delivered them in an enclosure
After the cubs were born, the panda mother picked them up with her mouth and licked them to care for them.
Keepers at the breeding centre then transferred the tiny pink cubs to an incubator to be looked after. They also bottle-fed them milk.
The two cubs were born at 5:20pm and 5:52pm on May 23.
They elder sister, named Mei Meng, weighed 149.9 grams (5.3 ounces); while the younger sister, named Lan Meng, weighed 110.7 grams (3.9 ounces).
Meng Meng, which had given birth twice before, delivered the twins in about an hour
Meng Meng picked up the newborn cubs with her mouth and licked them to care for them
The breeding centre said Meng Meng was a ‘very experienced mother’ and her labour lasted around one hour.
Panda mother Meng Meng has five cubs, including the two newborns.
She gave birth to a set of male twins, Meng Da and Meng Er, in 2013 and one male cub, Meng Lan, in 2015.
The twins have been looked after by staff at the breeding centre after being born on May 23
Meng Meng and both cubs are in good health, said the breeding centre.
Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base is the world’s largest artificial breeding population of captive pandas.
The state-run base started in 1980s with six ill pandas, according to its website. As of 2015, it had bred a total of 214 cubs, many of them sent to zoos around the world.
According to latest statistics, the base looks after 152 pandas.
What are Giant Pandas? Six facts you need to know about the fascinating animals
A Giant Panda rests on a tree in Wolong Valley, south-west China’s Sichuan Province
- There are around 1,600 Giant Pandas living in the wild nowadays and 300 in zoos and breeding centres around the world.
- It’s unsure how long Giant Pandas could live in the wild for. However the oldest zoo panda so far has reached 38 years old.
- A wild panda’s diet is 99 per cent bamboo. The remaining one per cent is often small rodents.
- Giant Pandas need to consume around 20 to 40 pounds of bamboo each day to get the nutrients they need.
- On all four legs, Giant Pandas stand at around three to four feet tall.
- Cubs do not open their eyes until they are six to eight weeks of age and are not mobile until three months old.