Twin joy as Tokyo panda gives birth to two cubs

TOKYO (AFP) – A panda at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo gave birth to twins yesterday, weeks after news of Shin Shin’s pregnancy sent stocks in nearby restaurants soaring.

They were born in the early hours yesterday, the zoo said in a statement, adding that it had not yet confirmed the sex of the pair.

Zoo Director Yutaka Fukuda said the twin birth was a first for the Ueno facility.

“When I heard the news that the second baby was born, I couldn’t help but whoop,” he told reporters.

One of the cubs, weighing in at 124 grammes, was placed in an incubator, zoo spokesperson Naoya Ohashi said during a press conference later.

The mother panda “is in good health, and carefully looking after” the other baby, he added.

When pandas have twins, they usually only raise one, “so we will be making sure the mother panda will breastfeed one while we keep the other in the incubator,” Ohashi said.

Zookeepers will be swapping the babies so that both cubs experience natural feeding, he added.

Shin Shin sparked a rally in stocks of eateries near the zoo earlier this month when her pregnancy was announced.

One of the panda twin is kept in the incubator. PHOTO: AFP