A panda managed to give birth in southwest China Friday despite having reached the venerable age of 17, equivalent to a human in her 60s, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Jini gave birth to a female cub weighing 125 grams (4.4 ounces) after four hours in labor. Both mother and daughter are doing well, said the Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Sichuan province.
The mother had already defied expectations by delivering her first cub in 2007 at the age of 13. That pregnancy lasted 324 days, more than double the normal period of 120-150 days.
Pandas are notoriously reluctant breeders when held in captivity, but the Wolong facility has overseen 11 panda births this year, with over 10 more expected in the next one to two months.
"Pandas come into heat in the spring and give birth in autumn. This is the main reason for the panda baby boom," said Dang Chunxiang, an expert at the center.
Copyright 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.
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