This year has seen a handful of rare giant panda births around the world.
The first panda born in captivity in Europe through natural conception was delivered. The baby, the offspring of mother Yang Yang and Long Hui, was 4 inches long and 3.5 ounces in weight.
Zoo Atlanta officials were surprised when a pregnant giant panda gave birth to not one, but two cubs--the first giant panda twins born in the U.S. in 25 years. They'll split their time between a zoo incubator and their mother. Per Chinese tradition, the cubs won't be named until they are 100 days old.
Yuan Yuan--a 9-year-old female panda given by China to Taiwan as a diplomatic gesture--gave birth to a female cub July 6 in the Taipei Zoo after a successful artificial insemination in March. The zoo shared a video of the "joyful" moment.
On Aug. 13, Yuan Zai, the 1-month-old panda cub at the Taiwan City Zoo, was placed in her mother's enclosure for the first time since the mother accidentally injured the cub's leg after she was born. The two hugged and Yuan Zai spent the night with her mother for the first time.
On June 22, a giant panda named Haiza gave birth to twin panda cubs--the first of the species to be born this year. The cubs arrived about 10 minutes apart--each weighed less than 3 oz. One was a female.
The National Zoo's giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub after going into labor earlier in the afternoon. The mother panda delivered a second stillborn cub the following day.
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