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2 giant panda cubs born at Tokyo's Ueno zoo for first time in 4 years

TOKYO -- Giant panda Shin Shin gave birth to two cubs early on the morning of June 23 at Ueno zoo in Tokyo.

    It is the first time in four years that baby pandas were born at Ueno Zoological Gardens, with the most recent delivery taking place in June 2017 when Shin Shin gave birth to Xiang Xiang. The newborn pandas were the sixth and seventh cubs delivered at the zoo in the capital's Taito Ward. The cubs' genders are yet unknown.

    Giant panda Shin Shin is seen at Ueno Zoological Gardens in this June 3, 2021 photo provided by the Tokyo Zoological Park Society.

    According to the zoo, one cub weighed 124 grams, while the weight of the other is unknown. Mating between 15-year-old Shin Shin and Ri Ri, a 15-year-old male, was confirmed on March 6 this year, and the zoo revealed on June 4 that the female panda had shown signs of pregnancy, such as a decrease in the amount of bamboo she ate.

    It is the third time for Shin Shin to give birth. The male cub she delivered in 2016 died six days after it was born, so the zoo will keep a close watch on the newborns.

    Giant panda Shin Shin is seen in a delivery room in this June 21, 2021 photo provided by the Tokyo Zoological Park Society.

    Ueno zoo has raised a total of 13 pandas since the first two, Kan Kan and Ran Ran, were gifted from China in 1972. Besides Shin Shin, giant panda Huan Huan, who came to Japan in 1980, has delivered three cubs, one of which died two days after its birth.

    (Japanese original by Asako Takeuchi, Tokyo City News Department)

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