Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Global 2010: 2 panda cubs born in Spanish zoo

PandaImage by AndyLawson via Flickr
MADRID – Two newborn pandas are the latest additions to the Madrid Zoo.

The hairless, pink twins were born to a giant panda Tuesday after being conceived through artificial insemination, and each weigh 150 grams (5 ounces), the zoo said.

It will be a few days before veterinarians can determine their gender.

They are the first pandas born in the Madrid Zoo since it unveiled one named Chu-Lin in 1982 — the first panda born in captivity in Europe. That one became wildly popular and a symbol of the Spanish capital.

Spain's National Research Council, which took part in the recent insemination along with scientists from China, said pandas have been born in Europe four times — twice in Madrid and two other times in the Vienna zoo.

The council said there are only an estimated 1,600 pandas left living in the wild in China, their numbers depleted by destruction of their habitat.

The Madrid Zoo has four of the endangered animals: the newborns and their parents, mother Hua Zui Ba and father Bing Xing.

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