A Belgian wildlife park is proudly announcing the birth of twin giant pandas.
Pairi Daiza is a privately owned zoo and botanical garden located in Brugelette, Belgium. It said in a tweet Friday that Hao Hao (pronounced How-How), a panda loaned to the park by China in 2014, has given birth. The announcement referred to the newborns as “two little ‘pink shrimps’ that are in good health and that she is taking care of with extraordinary maternal love."
The twins were born Thursday, the eighth day of the eighth month. The park notes that the number 8 is considered “lucky” in Chinese culture.
They’re the second and third pandas delivered at the park. Another panda baby, Tian Bao, was born there in June 2016.
Pairi Daiza park head Eric Domb says the twin birth is “marvelous news for this extraordinary, but today still threatened, species.”
Previously classified as “endangered,” the giant panda’s conservation status was officially upgraded in 2016 to “vulnerable.” That means the species relies on human conservation efforts—such as protection and care inside parks like Pairi Daiza and wild habitat protection in China—to ensure its numbers do not continue to drop.
(Two baby giant pandas born on Thursday, August 8, 2019, crawl around in their cot at the Pairi Daiza Zoo in Brugelette, Belgium. Pairi Daiza Zoo via AP)