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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

Twin Pandas Born in Southwest China

September 7, 2006

BEIJING (AP) – A giant panda in southwest China has given birth to a pair of twins, state media said, the latest additions in a baby boom for the endangered animals.

Ya Ya, who lives in the Chongqing Zoo, delivered the babies about an hour apart early Tuesday, China News Service said.

They were her first cubs, it said, and both mother and babies are healthy. The zoo has been closed for a week to give Ya Ya some peace, it said.

One has been taken to the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center, also in Sichuan province, because Ya Ya cannot produce enough milk for both cubs, it said.

Ya Ya was mated with 11-year-old Ling Ling from Wolong in April. The pandas watched a mating video before breeding, China News Service said.

Last month, the government announced the birth of four sets of panda twins. China has more than 180 pandas living in captivity, according to the government.

A 2002 government census found there were just 1,596 pandas left in the wild. But state media has said a new study by Chinese and British scientists has found there might be as many as 3,000.