French zoo announces pregnancy of giant panda

(Xinhua) 12:43, July 22, 2021

PARIS, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Huan Huan, a giant panda at Beauval Zoo in central France, is pregnant and the birth of her cub is expected in about 10 days, announced the zoo.

"Huan Huan is pregnant! What wonderful news! After weeks of waiting, an embryo was detected today on ultrasound," the zoo in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, some 200 km to the south of Paris, tweeted late Tuesday.

"To date, the embryo is 1.74 cm long by 0.86 cm wide and another ultrasound is scheduled for Friday to verify the presence of a second fetus," it added.

Huan Huan, which means "happy" in Chinese, and her male pal Yuan Zi, were both born in Chengdu, China, and arrived in France in 2012 when they were three years old.

At the end of March, the two giant pandas tried to mate under the watchful eye of veterinarians and caretakers. Artificial insemination was also carried out as a precaution, as a female panda is fertile only 24 to 48 hours per year, said the zoo.

Thanks to this technique, on Aug. 4, 2017, Huan Huan gave birth to twin cubs, the first panda babies born in France. The first cub died shortly after its birth and the second one was named Yuan Meng, which means "the realization of a dream" in Chinese. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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