First twin pandas born in Europe unveiled

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The first ever twin pandas to be born in Europe have been unveiled to the public at Madrid Zoo.

The twin cubs were born on September 7, one hundred and thirty five days after their mother was artificially inseminated.

The two little pandas have not been given names yet. According to vets at Madrid Zoo, one of them is a male, while the gender of the second one is still to be determined.

Weighing about 1 kilo each - the same as a bag of sugar - the cubs are the first of their species to be born in Spain since 1982 and only the third litter to be born in Europe, according to a Chinese veterinarian who travelled from Beijing especially for their birth.

Pandas are in danger of extinction and have great difficulty breeding.

The cubs' mother was artificially inseminated twice before successfully reproducing. The father Bing Xing was given to Spain by the Chinese government in 2007.

For Madrid Zoo veterinarian Mariadelcloux, the twins' birth is a significant addition to the International Conservation of Species program.

"It is very important because this is an animal that is crucial among the world program for conservation as there are only a few of them so, having two more is a great addition to the program in which there are about 300 animals at the moment," she said.

Hua Zui Ba gave birth with no complications, zoo officials said, but the cubs will spend some time in an incubator, taking turns to be fed by their mother.