Bounc­ing baby panda

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By FU JING in Brus­sels fu­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A vet­eri­nar­ian cares for the sur­viv­ing twin af­ter gi­ant panda Huan Huan gave birth in Saint-Aig­nan-sur-Cher, France, on Fri­day. The other twin died soon af­ter birth.

Brigitte Macron, the first lady of France, is set to be­come god­mother to a baby panda born on Fri­day night at ZooParc de Beau­val.

“The in­for­ma­tion was of­fi­cially con­firmed by the Elysee,” a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the zoo in Saint-Aig­nan, France, told China Daily in an email. “Beau­val is very hon­ored.”

Only one of the cubs sur­vived and “is still do­ing well” af­ter Chi­nese panda Huan Huan gave birth to twins on Fri­day night, ac­cord­ing to the zoo, which is about 200 kilo­me­ters from Paris in cen­tral France.

“Af­ter th­ese emo­tional mo­ments, Huan Huan and her baby are still do­ing well,” it wrote in the email on Satur­day morn­ing.

The full-term male cub, the sec­ond born, weighs 142.4 grams, the zoo said. “The first born un­for­tu­nately died soon af­ter his birth,” it said.

Huan Huan, 9, be­came preg­nant through ar­ti­fi­cial in­sem­i­na­tion. The cub and Huan Huan have been re­ceiv­ing in­ten­sive care from a team of ex­perts at the zoo. China will name the panda cub.

The zoo said the vet­eri­nary teams and French and Chi­nese care­tak­ers are “to­tally ded­i­cated to pan­das,” and a video of the birth will be vis­i­ble on screens at the zoo.

Zoo di­rec­tor Del­phine Delord told China Daily in a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view that a team of 10 peo­ple, in­clud­ing French and two Chi­nese ex­perts, were in­volved in the panda birth.

Af­ter de­liv­ery, Delord said her team pre­pared panda milk, which is brought from China, for the cub.

The zoo said that Brigitte Macron spoke at length on the phone with zoo Di­rec­tor Rodolphe Delord, con­grat­u­lat­ing him and his team.

Ac­cord­ing to the zoo, the first lady had al­ready vis­ited the breed­ing pair Huan Huan and Yuan Zi sev­eral times with her fam­ily. She will visit the panda cub at a date yet to be de­ter­mined.

GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

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