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Incredible cuteness: Baby pandas successfully born at breeding center

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 2nd, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In an instance of almost unbelievable cuteness, Chinese conservationists have proudly announced the birth of seven panda cubs - all fluffy and adorable, with distinctive black-and-white markings, within a three month span. The new total brings the number of panda cubs born at the center to 113.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After undergoing earlier medical checks, the young pandas have been photographed for the firs time together at Chengdu Panda Base, in Sichuan.

One of them, born on the opening day of the London Olympics, was named Oreo.

Oreo weighed six ounces when he was born has steadily gained weight. When fully-grown, the plan is to release the pandas into the wild.

"It's so exciting to see the seven panda babies together for the first time," Aimee Cheung from London says. Cheung is in Chengdu to take part in the "Pambassador" competition - a global contest to raise awareness of panda conservation.

"Oreo is a special cub for me because he was born on the opening day of the London Olympics and because the experts at the Chengdu Panda Base believe he will make a good candidate for release into the wild," she said.

Names of the seven other baby pandas are Xiao Qiao, Si Yi, Yuan Run, Miao Miao and two twins Cheng Shuang and Cheng Dui.

The 113 panda cubs at the Chengdu Panda Base have made it the biggest group of artificially-bred pandas in the world.

Dr Zhang Zhihe, the center's director, said: 'We are delighted that 2012 [has] been such a bumper year for panda cubs at the Chengdu Panda Base.

"The birth of so many baby giant pandas is a testament to the success of our breeding program."

Three winners of the Chengdu Pambassador competition will win a five-month panda conservation tour of 11 countries working alongside Chengdu Panda Base conservationists.

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