Twin baby pandas born in China after mother artificially inseminated

Researchers are trying to increase the population of the endangered species

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The Independent Online

Twin baby pandas have been born in China after their mother was artificially inseminated as part of efforts to ensure their survival.

The tiny animals were shown to members of the public for the first time on Tuesday, still mostly hairless and bright pink.

The newborn sisters were just a day old and kept their eyes tightly shut, stumbling around their incubator and huddling together in a pile.

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The baby panda twins were born at a breeding centre for the animals in China

The new arrivals were a boost for the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, which is aiming to increase the panda population until they can be reintroduced to the wild and left to breed naturally.

Wu Kongju, the chief administrator, said the twins were in good condition based on their milk consumption and normal body temperature.

Their mother, seven-year old Kelin, gave birth to the babies weighing just 118g and 70g each on Monday, after being artificially inseminated in January.

They are the world's first set of panda twins born in 2015, Chinese state media reported.

Giant pandas were once spread through China, Vietnam and Burma but are now endangered, with only 1,800 animals believed to remain in the wild.

Additional reporting by AP

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