11 July 2023

Giant panda gives birth to twins at South Korean theme park

11 July 2023

A giant panda has given birth to twin cubs at a theme park in South Korea.

Ai Bao gave birth to the cubs, who are both female, last Friday at the Everland theme park near Seoul, the Samsung C&T resort group said on Tuesday.

It is the first time that panda twins have been born in South Korea, a spokesperson said.

Both Ai Bao and her cubs are in good health.

Decades of conservation efforts in the wild and study in captivity have saved the giant panda from extinction, increasing its population from fewer than 1,000 at one time to more than 1,800 in the wild and captivity.

The life expectancy of a giant panda in the wild is about 15 years but in captivity they have lived to be as old as 38.

The South Korean resort group said it will observe the cubs’ health and growth to determine when to unveil them to the public. Meanwhile, the group said it will use social media to show off the cubs.

Ai Bao and her male mate, Le Bao, came to the park in 2016 from China on a 15-year lease programme. In 2020, Ai Bao gave birth to a female cub named Fu Bao.

Ai Bao, Le Bao and Fu Bao had been the only pandas in South Korea. Everland’s Panda World, which is home to the three pandas, has received 14 million visitors.

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