A giant panda gave birth to two twin cubs this Monday (6) at the Madrid Zoo, a fact considered by the institution as “a great contribution” to the conservation of the endangered species.
The Zoo Aquarium in Madrid said in a statement that the female, Hua Zui Ba, gave birth to the first calf around 8:30 am, after more than four hours of labor, while the second came into the world after midday.
In the birth images, the female is shown expelling the first offspring, a small, hairless, pink-skinned animal that emitted loud squeaks, then licking it clean and placing it in her lap.
The newborns “will be totally dependent on their mother for the next four months” until they can walk on their own, the zoo explained.
Panda cubs, born in Madrid Zoo, receive veterinary care
Two technicians from the Chengdu Panda Breeding Base in China will help local veterinarians care for the twins, whose sex has yet to be determined, the statement said.
Giant panda couple Hua Zui Ba and their partner Bing Xing have had four other cubs in the past.
Twin panda cubs were born in Madrid — Photo: Reuters/Zoo de Madrid
This new birth “constitutes a great contribution in the field of conservation of endangered species,” added the zoo.
The reproduction of pandas, both in captivity and in the wild, is complicated, according to experts, with very short annual periods of heat for females.
The giant panda is a vulnerable species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 2,000 specimens remaining in its habitat.