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Captive Giant Panda Gives Birth to Twins

CHENGDU, August 20 -- Chinese giant panda Yaya gave birth to twin males Monday morning at a panda breeding center in Chengdu, capital of southwestern Sichuan Province.

The hairless, pink eldest brother has been closely attended to in a comfortable pen for infant pandas.

Since a panda mother can only feed one cub at a time, the twins have to be milked in turn, said Li Guanghan, director of the center.

The 11-year-old Yaya and her brother Xiangxiang are the first pair of twins born by a captive panda, that have survived in the world, sources said.

Statistics show that since 1963, 44 captive giant pandas in China and foreign countries, or half of the total, have given birth to twins.

The captive pandas are often artificially inseminated with the sperm of two or more male pandas, which gives greater likelihood for multiple births, according to Yu Jiangqiu, deputy director of the center.

China expects to have more giant panda births this year as another 12 pregnant pandas are likely to deliver in the next few months.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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