Twin panda cubs born at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo for first time in four years

A giant panda has given birth to twin cubs at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, the first born there for four years.

They arrived an hour and a half apart at 1.03am and 2.32am local time on Wednesday, according to the zoo’s website.

Their gender is still to be confirmed so they have not yet been named.

“All the staff are working together to observe and protect the giant panda mother and children,” the zoo said.

Mother Shin Shin was born in 2005 and arrived at the Tokyo zoo a decade ago with male partner Ri Ri.

They also had a daughter Xiang Xiang in June 2017.

Pandas are very difficult to breed in captivity because they can be picky about partners and females go into heat just once a year.

“The pandas are now a family of five. This is such happy news,” said Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato.

“I believe everyone at the zoo is doing all they can day and night to keep the panda family healthy first, and I hope everyone will watch over them warmly and quietly.”

The UK’s only giant pandas, Yang Guang and Tian Tian, are at Edinburgh Zoo.

However, it warned in January it might have to let them go as the zoo was having financial troubles caused by the pandemic.

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