For the first time a giant panda gave birth in Macau – and it was double happiness on Sunday as not just one cub but twins were born – and both were locally conceived.
The “lovely giant panda twins” were born to eight-year-old Sam Sam and her mate Hoi Hoi, who is seven years old, the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) said in a statement on Sunday night.
The bureau said both the mother and the elder cub, which weighs 135 grams, were doing fine, adding that, however, the younger cub is underweight at only 53.8 grams. The tiny one is under the intensive care of the keepers there around the clock, the statement said.
The twins are yet to be named, and their gender cannot be determined right away because they are so small, said an IACM spokesman surnamed Lai.
The first-ever ‘made in Macau’ panda was born at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday. The second cub was born at 4:27 p.m.
“As for Sam Sam, who is a first-time mother, she is doing very well [at taking care of her babies] and shows her good maternal love,” the IACM statement said.
The bureau said on Friday that Sam Sam had shown signs of pregnancy, but it had not confirmed the three-month pregnancy until the cubs were born on Sunday.
Both Hoi Hoi and Sam Sam, originally called Yalin and Shurong in the mainland, were given by the central government in 2014 and arrived here last year. “Hoi Sam” means “happy” in Cantonese.