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Giant panda Huan Huan's cub "new symbol of Sino-French friendship": ambassador
From:Xinhua  |  2017-08-05 18:54

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PARIS, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Ambassador to France Zhai Jun on Saturday hailed the birth of giant female panda Huan Huan's cub, saying the first baby panda born in France represents "further link" between Beijing and Paris.

The giant panda, on loan to Beauval zoo park, central France, from China, late on Friday, gave birth to a twin cubs but one died afterwards.

"Congratulations on the birth of the baby panda at the Beauval zoo park. It is a great success for the zoo park and for our two countries," the Chinese diplomat said.

"I hope that the baby panda grows in the best conditions. A new symbol of Sino-French friendship, it will be a further link between our two peoples," he added.

In her first delivery, Huan Huan "was very calm" and has given birth to two cubs at an interval of a few minutes, the zoo said. The first panda cub was born at 10:18 p.m. local time (2018 GMT), and the other came 14 minutes later.

In the wild, female pandas raise only one cub, the "strongest", the one that has the most chances of survival, and abandon the second. Huan Huan took care of the first cub immediately after its birth, but chose the second cub and abandoned the first after the second cub was born.

France's first lady Brigitte Macron will be named godmother of the first cub born in France.

Huan Huan and her male partner Yuan Zi arrived in central France's Beauval zoo in January 2012.

There are about 2,000 pandas in the world. They are classified as "vulnerable" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).