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French first lady agrees to become godmother of panda

By Fu Jing in Brussels | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-08-07 08:15

Brigitte Macron, the first lady of France, is set to become godmother to a baby panda born on Friday night at ZooParc de Beauval.

"The information was officially confirmed by the Elysee," a representative of the zoo in Saint-Aignan, France, told China Daily in an email. "Beauval is very honored."

Only one of the cubs survived and "is still doing well" after Chinese panda Huan Huan gave birth to twins on Friday night, according to the zoo, which is about 200 kilometers from Paris in central France.

"After these emotional moments, Huan Huan and her baby are still doing well," it wrote in the email on Saturday morning.

The full-term male cub, the second born, weighs 142.4 grams, the zoo said. "The first born unfortunately died soon after his birth," it said.

Huan Huan, 9, became pregnant through artificial insemination. The cub and Huan Huan have been receiving intensive care from a team of experts at the zoo. China will name the panda cub.

The zoo said the veterinary teams and French and Chinese caretakers are "totally dedicated to pandas," and a video of the birth will be visible on screens at the zoo.

Zoo director Delphine Delord told China Daily in a previous interview that a team of 10 people, including French and two Chinese experts, were involved in the panda birth.

After delivery, Delord said her team prepared panda milk, which is brought from China, for the cub.

The zoo said that Brigitte Macron spoke at length on the phone with zoo Director Rodolphe Delord, congratulating him and his team.

According to the zoo, the first lady had already visited the breeding pair Huan Huan and Yuan Zi several times with her family. She will visit the panda cub at a date yet to be determined.

(China Daily USA 08/07/2017 page3)

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