Panda pride for France’s Kylian Mbappe

In this file photo taken on September 30, 2021, French caretaker Sherine Feillet (left) and Chinese caretaker Lyu Riuquing hold the two panda cub twins named Fleur de Coton (right) and Petite Neige at The Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher. Beauval Zoo’s deputy director told AFP that French footballer Kylian Mbappe will be the godfather of one of the two panda twins born on August 2, 2021. — AFP pic
In this file photo taken on September 30, 2021, French caretaker Sherine Feillet (left) and Chinese caretaker Lyu Riuquing hold the two panda cub twins named Fleur de Coton (right) and Petite Neige at The Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher. Beauval Zoo’s deputy director told AFP that French footballer Kylian Mbappe will be the godfather of one of the two panda twins born on August 2, 2021. — AFP pic

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TOURS, Oct 20 — French footballer Kylian Mbappe will act as godfather to the twin pandas recently born at Beauval Zoo, the animal park authorities said today.

Chinese Olympic diving gold medallist Zhang Jiaqi will be the godmother alongside the Paris Saint-Germain star at a naming ceremony on November 18.

“It’s an honour for the zoo to have top athletes leaning over the pandas’ cradle,” zoo director Delphine Delord told AFP.

“And their involvement shines a light on the protection of threatened species protection and on the environment. 

“The baby pandas are in good health, they weigh four kilos each, have opened their eyes and started to move” Delord said of the 10-weeks-old cubs.

Only 2000 pandas remain alive in the wild although the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) removed them from the red list of endangered species in 2016.

The cubs are the offspring of Yuan Zi and Huan Huan who were loaned to France by China a decade ago. — AFP

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