Image: Mother panda and baby
Li Wei  /  AP
A female giant panda looks at her baby at China's Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center on Monday.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 8/14/2007 1:24:00 PM ET 2007-08-14T17:24:00

Four pandas were born in captivity in China on the same day, a rare occurrence after 34 were born in all of last year, state media reported Tuesday.

Xinhua News Agency earlier reported that three pandas had been born, but later said that 14-year-old Eryatou, who had delivered a female baby on Monday evening at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center in Sichuan province, later gave birth to a second female baby.

The first cub weighed 7.7 ounces (218.5 grams), and the second one weighed just 3.5 ounces (98.5 grams), Xinhua said.

Earlier on Monday, another panda mother named Jiaozi gave birth to a male and a female at the same center. This was the fifth delivery for 12-year-old Jiaozi since 2001, Xinhua said.

Chinese panda breeding centers now have reported 14 cubs born so far this year, with nine at the Chengdu center and the others at the Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve, Xinhua said.

The panda is one of the rarest animals, with an estimated 1,590 living in the wild.

Another 210 have been bred in captivity, Xinhua said.

Of the 34 pandas born by artificial insemination in 2006, 30 survived. Both were record figures, Xinhua said.

The mating season for pandas usually runs from March to May, and pandas give birth only once a year, the news service said.

This report includes information from The Associated Press and MSNBC.com.

© 2013 msnbc.com

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