China announced Tuesday the birth of extremely rare giant panda triplets.
The cubs were born July 29 at the Chimelong safari park in the city of Guangzhou (pronounced gwang-zjoh), but breeders delayed an announcement until it appeared that all three would survive, the China News Service said.
The cubs and their mother, Ju Xiao (joo shee-ow), are healthy, the news agency said.
Ju Xiao got round-the-clock care for the final weeks of her pregnancy, according to the report. The triplets were born in a span of four hours and now weigh eight to 12 ounces each. The park said the cubs are the only surviving panda triplets in the world.
About 1,600 giant pandas live in the wild, where they are critically endangered due to loss of habitat and low birthrates. More than 300 live in captivity, mostly in China’s breeding programs.
China lends pandas to zoos in other countries, such as the National Zoo in Washington, where Mei Xiang (may shee-ong), Tian Tian and baby Bao Bao make their home.