First-time-mom, Huan Huan, gave birth to twins, the first ever to be born in France. While the second baby was strong and healthy the firstborn was much weaker and died after barely two hours.

A veterinarian takes care of the second twin after female panda Huan Huan gave birth in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, central France, on August 4, 2017.
A veterinarian takes care of the second twin after female panda Huan Huan gave birth in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, central France, on August 4, 2017.

A giant panda in Beauval zoo gave birth to twin cubs on Friday, the first ever to be born in France, but one died shortly afterwards.

Huan Huan, a female on loan to the zoo from China, had been under close surveillance for several days and a crack team of veterinary staff including two Chinese birthing specialists assembled for the birth.

While the second baby was strong and healthy, the zoo said, the firstborn was much weaker and died two hours after birth.

Huan Huan and her partner Yuan Zi, whose names translate as "Joy" and "Podgy" respectively, came to France in 2012, their arrival hailed as a sign of warming diplomatic ties between Paris and Beijing.

They are due to stay until 2022 before being returned to China

Their offspring will stay in France until the age of two or three before being returned to China.

TRT World's Tom Fredericks reports.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies