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Missed panda births in Japan


Whilst I was away I missed the birth of little boy and girl pandas in Japan on the 13th of September

TOKYO (AFP) — A giant panda born and raised in western Japan has given birth to two cubs, a zoo official said Sunday.

Seven-year-old Rauhin gave birth to a female and a male cub early Saturday morning at the zoo where she has spent her whole life, becoming the first Japanese-born panda to breed.

"We are very pleased to see that a giant panda who was born in this zoo gave birth," Tomoko Kumakawa, spokeswoman for Adventure World in Wakayama prefecture, told AFP.

Kumakawa said it was not clear whether the birth was the result of natural mating with a male giant panda the zoo brought in from China. The zoo had also conducted artificial insemination to improve Rauhin's chances of breeding.

Captive giant pandas are known for their low sex drive, which is exacerbating falling numbers as their natural habitat in southwestern China is encroached on by development.

Artificial insemination has also proved difficult as the female panda is only fertile once a year.