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Double cuddle: Berlin zoo celebrates birth of 2 panda cubs

Sep 2, 2019, 9:14 AM | Updated: 10:14 am
This photo provide by the Berlin Zoo on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, shows the newborn panda twins during...
This photo provide by the Berlin Zoo on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, shows the newborn panda twins during their first care at the zoo after they are born. Female Panda Meng Meng gave birth to two panda babies in Berlin Zoo on Saturday evening Aug. 31, 2019. (Zoo Berlin/Zoologischer Garten Berlin via AP)
(Zoo Berlin/Zoologischer Garten Berlin via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — A zoo in Berlin is celebrating the arrival of two panda cubs, the first time one of the rare mammals has given birth in Germany.

Zoo Berlin said Monday that mother Meng Meng gave birth to a hand-sized pink cub at 6:54 p.m. Saturday.

According to the zoo, mothering came naturally to the 6-year-old panda: “She placed the tiny creature gently on her belly and began to warm it lovingly with her big paws, warm breath, and the soft fur of her cheeks.”

This photo provide by the Berlin Zoo on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, shows one the newborn panda twins during its first care at the zoo. Female Panda Meng Meng gave birth to two panda babies in Berlin Zoo on Saturday evening Aug. 31, 2019. (Zoo Berlin/Zoologischer Garten Berlin via AP)

An hour later, its twin was born.

Keepers only confirmed last week that Meng Meng was pregnant. She had mated with 9-year-old partner Jiao Qing in April, and was also artificially inseminated to increase the likelihood of pregnancy.

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing arrived from China in June 2017.

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Double cuddle: Berlin zoo celebrates birth of 2 panda cubs