Orleans [France], July 21 (ANI/Sputnik): Huan Huan, a giant panda loaned to France by China, is pregnant for the second time, the Beauval zoo said on Tuesday.
Huan Huan gave birth to her first cubs in 2017, the first giant pandas ever born in France. One of the two cubs died shortly after birth, while the other, named Yuan Meng, is in good health and weighs about 100 kilograms (220 pounds).
According to the French zoo, female pandas can only be fertilized 48 hours a year, which makes panda reproduction extremely difficult. That is why zoo employees resorted to medically assisted procreation rather than counting solely on Huan Huan's partner, Yuan Zi.
The delivery is expected from mid-July to early August, the Beauval zoo said.
The giant panda is an informal national symbol of China. Sending these pandas to different countries has become a tradition, called panda diplomacy. Huan Huan was loaned to the Beauval zoo in France for ten years in 2012. The Beauval zoo is France's most popular zoo, which used to be visited by 1.5 million people a year prior to the pandemic. (ANI/Sputnik)