Twin baby pandas in France zoo gain weight and fur

The pandas, named Fleur-de-Coton and Petite-Neige, are nursed by their mother Huan-Huan.

From a mere 149 grammes (5.2 ounces) and 128 grammes (4.51 ounces) at birth, the two pandas grew to 1.14 kg (2.51 pounds) and 1.09 kg (2.4 pounds) after one month.

Born with no fur and resembling pink rats, the panda cubs are now starting to grow fluff and their black spots have become visible.

Their eyes are not yet open and they are not yet crawling.

Beauval zoo said the babies and their mother are in excellent health, doing what pandas love best: sleeping. The babies spend one to three hours with their mother, nursing and lying on her belly.

The mortality rate for panda cubs in their first year in human care is 26 percent for males and 20 percent for females, according to a Smithsonian study.

The Beauval Zoo has hired two Chinese experts to help care for the pandas.

The zoo is also inviting panda fans to become godparents for Fleur-de-Coton and Petite-Neige as part of a programme that raises funds for research and conservation.

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