A female panda loaned by Huan Huan, China to the Beauval Zoopark (Loir-et-Cher), is pregnant once again, the zoo announced to AFP on Tuesday.
“A few hours ago an ultrasound confirmed the presence of a panda embryo in our female Huan Huan,” a zoo spokesman said.
“Veterinary teams have finally seen what they were hoping for: a tiny baby panda fetus” measuring 1.74 cm in length.
According to the zoo, births are expected in late July or early August.
If Huan Huan cooperates with veterinarians, the ultrasound should now continue twice a week. At this stage of gestation, the female panda tries to sleep as much as possible, eating “less and less” until she gives birth.
In late March, two giant pandas, Huan Huan and Yuan Zi, tried to mate, under the watchful eye of veterinarians and caretakers at one of the main attractions of the Beauval Zoo. Artificial insemination was also done as a precaution, the female panda is fertile only 24 to 48 hours a year.
Thanks to this technique, Huan Huan had already given birth to Yuan Meng on August 4, 2017. At the age of 4, the first panda born in France now weighs over a hundred kilograms.
Since 2016, giant pandas are not “in danger” of extinction on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, the species remains “vulnerable”. About 500 pandas in captivity and 2,000 in the wild live in China.