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Quake-shaken giant panda gives birth in SW China


19:51, July 19, 2013

CHENGDU, July 19 (Xinhua) -- A giant panda that was shaken up during her pregnancy by an April earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province has successfully given birth to a healthy cub, research-base staff said Friday.

The panda, Xin Nier, delivered her first female cub, which weighed 179 grams at birth, late on the night of July 13 in a semi-wild training center of the Bifengxia Panda Base in Ya'an City, said Heng Yi, an official at the base.

She got pregnant in March after mating with male panda Lu Lu twice, but staff also artificially inseminated her to ensure the pregnancy.

However, Xin Nier was frightened by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Lushan County, Ya'an City, on April 20. Feeders and researchers comforted her and eventually calmed her nerves.

Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species. About 1,600 pandas live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan, while more than 300 live in captivity.

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