PARIS — First, a steady crawl. Then a short clumsy slide across the slick stone floor at their home at the Beauval Zoo near Paris. Then finally the big show as the twin giant panda cubs took their first steps in public on Saturday.

In a video, released by the zoo on Saturday, the twin cubs are seen clumsily making their way around the territory. At some point both attempt to climb nearby rocks as a caretaker looks on and films them with a smartphone.

The cubs will spend a few years in France before being sent to China.

There are about 1,800 pandas living in the wild in China and about 500 in captivity worldwide.

China for decades gifted friendly nations with its unofficial national mascot in what was known as “panda diplomacy.” More recently the country has loaned pandas to zoos on commercial terms.

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