Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher (France) (AFP)

Huan Huan, the female panda loaned by China to the Beauval ZooParc (Loir-et-Cher), is expecting twins, the zoo told AFP on Friday.

"We saw the second in the other horn of the uterus," said Lucie Brisson, the veterinarian who performed the second ultrasound on Friday in Saint-Aignan (Loir-et-Cher).

A first ultrasound performed on Tuesday showed the presence of a baby panda embryo, measuring 1.74 cm.

This first embryo now measures 3.36 cm.

"The measurements have not yet been made on the second because Huan Huan moved" during the examination, said the veterinarian.

"It often happens with twins in pandas. That's why we looked for the second," said Mr. Brisson, adding that the birth was always scheduled for late July or early August.

At the end of March, the two giant pandas, Huan Huan and Yuan Zi, one of the main attractions of the zoo, had tried to mate, under the watchful eye of veterinarians and caretakers.

Artificial insemination was also carried out as a precaution, the female panda being fertile only 24 to 48 hours per year.

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Thanks to this technique, Huan Huan had already given birth to Yuan Meng on August 4, 2017. Aged 4, the first panda born in France now weighs more than one hundred kilograms.

Huan Huan then also gave birth to twins, but only Yuan Meng survived.

© 2021 AFP