Meng Meng the panda becomes a mother to twins at Berlin Zoo in first birth of its kind in Germany


Meng Meng the panda becomes a mother to twins at Berlin Zoo in the first birth of its kind in Germany

  • Meng Meng delivered its first cub on Saturday evening and another an hour later
  • Animals’ births particularly rare because it is notoriously hard to breed pandas
  • Berlin zoo said: ‘Meng Meng and her cubs coped well and are all in good health’
  • Their genders have not been determined, zoo said, but weighed 136 and 186g

Berlin Zoo has revealed its resident panda Meng Meng has delivered twins, as it voiced delight at the first such births in Germany.

‘Meng Meng became a mum – twice! We are so happy, we are speechless,’ the zoo said on Twitter, also posting a video of the new mother guiding one of her pink babies to feed.

The births are particularly rare as it is notoriously hard to breed pandas.

Meng Meng delivered its first cub on Saturday evening. About an hour later, a second baby was born.

'Meng Meng became a mom - twice! We are so happy, we are speechless,' the zoo said on Twitter, also posting a video (pictured) of the new mother guiding one of her pink babies to feed

‘Meng Meng became a mom – twice! We are so happy, we are speechless,’ the zoo said on Twitter, also posting a video (pictured) of the new mother guiding one of her pink babies to feed

The panda delivered its first cub on Saturday evening. About an hour later, a second baby was born (both pictured)

The panda delivered its first cub on Saturday evening. About an hour later, a second baby was born (both pictured)

‘Meng Meng and her two cubs coped well with the birth and are all in good health,’ zoo director Andreas Knieriem said.

At birth, the pink cubs, with their fine white down and disproportionately long tails, bear little resemblance to the adult black and white bears.

Their genders have not been determined, the zoo said, although the two cubs weighed in at 136 and 186 grams.

At birth, the pink cubs (one shown), with their fine white down and disproportionately long tails, bear little resemblance to the adult black and white bears

At birth, the pink cubs (one shown), with their fine white down and disproportionately long tails, bear little resemblance to the adult black and white bears

'Meng Meng (pictured) and her two cubs coped well with the birth and are all in good health,' zoo director Andreas Knieriem said

‘Meng Meng (pictured) and her two cubs coped well with the birth and are all in good health,’ zoo director Andreas Knieriem said

Their genders have not been determined, the zoo said, although the two cubs weighed in at 136 and 186 grams (pictured)

Their genders have not been determined, the zoo said, although the two cubs weighed in at 136 and 186 grams (pictured)

On loan from China, Meng Meng and male panda Jiao Qing arrived in Berlin in June 2017 to great fanfare.

Famed for its ‘panda diplomacy’, China has dispatched its national treasure to only about a dozen countries as a symbol of close relations.

The zoo pays $15million (£12.4million) for a 15-year contract to host them, with most of the money going towards a conservation and breeding research programme in China.

Famed for its 'panda diplomacy', China has dispatched its national treasure to only about a dozen countries as a symbol of close relations. Pictured: Meng Meng with her new cub

Famed for its ‘panda diplomacy’, China has dispatched its national treasure to only about a dozen countries as a symbol of close relations. Pictured: Meng Meng with her new cub

While the cubs are born in Berlin, they remain Chinese and must be returned to China within four years after they have been weaned.

China has previously given three pandas to Germany but the last one, 34-year-old Bao Bao, died in Berlin in 2012, having become the oldest male panda in the world.

About 1,864 pandas remain in the wild in China, up from around 1,000 in the late 1970s, according to the environmental group WWF.

Just over 400 pandas live in zoos around the world, in conservation projects set up with Beijing.



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