2012’s first panda twins born in Sichuan

The first twin panda cubs born in 2012 came into the world in southwest China’s Sichuan province Wednesday morning.

Panda Xi Mei gave birth to the cubs at 4:47 a.m., the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong said.

The cubs are also the first pandas born in China this year, the center said.

The center’s staff have yet to identify the gender of one of the cubs, as its mother has yet to release it from her embrace. The second cub is a female and weighs 154.2 grams, the center said.

Xi Mei became pregnant in March after mating with Lu Lu, a panda selected for breeding by the center. The center began intensive monitoring after Xi Mei began to exhibit prenatal behavior in mid-June.

Born in 2000, Xi Mei previously gave birth to twin pandas in 2005 and 2006, respectively. In 2009, she gave birth to a single panda.

Xinhua