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August 20, 2009

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First AI panda gives birth to twins

THE first giant panda born through artificial fertilization in northwest China's Shaanxi Province gave birth to twins on Tuesday via the same process, the Shaanxi Rare Wild Animals Rescue and Breeding Research Center said yesterday.

Six-year-old Lousheng delivered a male cub at 8:40am and a female 18 minutes later.

The twins, the male weighing 162 grams and the female 131 grams, were in good health, said Jin Xuelin, the center's deputy director.

Lousheng was artificially inseminated in March, but it was not until 10 days before the birth that researchers knew of the pregnancy.

Ma Qingyi, head of the center's veterinary hospital, hailed the births as "a great step forward in our propagation technologies."


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