Huan Huan, a giant panda at Beauval Zoo in central France, has given birth to twins early Monday, the zoo announced.
"Huan Huan, our female panda, lost water around 0:30 am. Her 1st baby was born around 1:05 am and the 2nd followed a few minutes later," said the zoo in a press release.
Both babies were healthy, the first weighing 149 grams and the second 128.8 grams. "Huan Huan is very maternal, licks her cubs and holds them tight against her," added the zoo.
Huan Huan, which means "happy" in Chinese, and her male companion Yuan Zi, both born in Chengdu, China, arrived in France in 2012 at the age of three.
At the end of March, the pandas tried to mate under the watchful eye of veterinarians and caretakers. Artificial insemination was also carried out as a precaution, as a female panda is fertile only 24 to 48 hours per year.
In 2017, Huan Huan gave birth to twin cubs, the first panda babies born in France. The first cub died shortly after its birth and the second one was named Yuan Meng, which means "the realization of a dream" in Chinese.
Giant panda newborns are even more helpless than most other mammal infants because they don't open their eyes until they are about six to eight weeks old and don't move around until about three months.