China's giant panda cubs are increasing in number

The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda reported overseeing eight litters and the birth of 13 giant panda cubs last year.

The giant panda cubs born in 2022 met the public on Thursday in Chengdu, the capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, to greet their fans before the New Year.

The adorable mammals usually enter their "dating" season in February, and that marks the starting of breeding care at the conservation center every year.

In June, when the expectant pandas entered pregnancy one after another, the keepers went on duty 24 hours a day to monitor the pandas' behaviors and physiological status to ensure they could deliver the cubs safely.

"Through our efforts this year, we have successfully bred 13 cubs of giant pandas in eight litters -- eight females and five males. The first panda baby was born on June 21, and the latest on Aug 21. They are all in good health now," said Li Desheng, chief expert and deputy director at the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas.

With the steady increase in the captive giant panda population in the past years, the focus of the panda research center has switched from breeding more cubs to pursuing the quality development of the panda population.

The center has continuously improved its techniques for raising, feeding and breeding pandas, including artificial breeding.

"The China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas is home to, by far, the world's largest captive population of 364 giant pandas. Meanwhile, the center is also the world's largest and most extensive platform for relevant cooperation and exchange," Li said.

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