Good News Thursday: Panda gives birth to twins, Olympians show each other kindness


Giant panda gives birth to twins

This handout photo released by the Beauval Zoo shows panda Huan Huan holding her new born female cub in Saint-Aignan, central France, Monday. A giant panda on loan to France from China gave birth to two female twin cubs early Monday, a French zoo announced. (Eric Baccega/Beauval Zoo via AP)

A giant panda gave birth to two new babies at the Beauval Zoo in France. The mother Huan Huan and father Yuan Zi are on loan to France from China for ten years. After a few years the pandas, including the babies, will return to China. Giant pandas have a very difficult time getting pregnant and have low rates of pregnancy. Huan Huan and Yuan Zi mated eight times and even received an artificial insemination to get pregnant. The two new pandas will be named in 100 days, and though their genders are assumed, doctors will not know for sure for several months.

“We just lived a moment of rare intensity. These births are always very exceptional but they also bring some surprises,” said Delphine Delord, director of the Beauval Zoo.

School garden programs blossom

In this photo provided by Ginny Hughes, members of the Troy Kids’ Garden Learning Community plant together at Troy Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin. (Ginny Hughes via AP)

Schools across the country have been blooming with a new addition, gardens. As personal interest grew in growing gardens during the pandemic, so did the interest in schools. Even in more urban locations, teaching kids how to grow food and cultivate gardens has become a way to teach subjects in a new and interactive way. Teachers appreciate that growing a garden helps kids see and achieve goals with a tangible product.

“Having a garden in a school is just as important as any other education,” Ron Finley, proponent of urban gardening and non-profit founder told the Associated Press. “The act of gardening teaches you where our food source comes from and teaches you to have a reverence for soil. If kids have a reverence for soil, they have a reverence for themselves and respect for this planet. Gardening should be part of the main curriculum. Gardening is not a hobby, it’s a life skill. I see this as one of the most valuable lessons of humanity.”

Olympians show kindness

Gianmarco Tamberi, of Italy, embraces fellow gold medalist Mutaz Barshim, of Qatar, after the final of the men’s high jump at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

Olympians are showing each other kindness even during competition. After Japanese-American surfer Kanoa Igarashi lost his heat to Brazilian surfer Ítalo Ferreira, he didn’t let the the loss stop him from being kind. Igarashi used his knowledge of Portuguese to translate the press conference to Ferreira, who has a difficult time speaking and understanding English.

Two high jumpers, Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar, both were tied for their jumps, making it perfectly over the bar every time. But when the bar was set to the Olympic record of 2.39 meters, both missed the bar three times. Instead of doing a jump-off, the athletes felt they both deserved gold so they decided to share the gold medal.

“Sharing with a friend is even more beautiful,” Tamberi told the Associated Press. “It was just magical.”

Runners Isaiah Jewett of the U.S. and Nijel Amos of Botswana stumbled on each other during their 800m qualifying race. But instead of turning their backs to each other and angrily finishing the race, they helped each other up and finished the race arm in arm supporting each other.

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