Congrats On The Sex: Two Giant Pandas Successfully Mate During Lockdown After A Decade Of Trying
Giant Pandas are one of the most beloved species on the planet. They’re big, fluffy, goofy creatures that seem to sit around all day and eat bamboo whilst living the dream. What’s not to love?
The world would be a better place if we had pandas everywhere. I’m serious. How much cooler would it be if you were walking down the street in Boulder, Colorado and a fucking Giant Panda came rumbling out of the forest? Or you were relaxing on a beach in The Hamptons and a fluffy panda bear lumbered by in search of a snack in the woods. Pandas make everything better.
Pandas are notoriously stubborn when it comes to hiznitting the skizzins. Biologists have used Artificial Intelligence to predict the success of pandas mating. Truly, they are one of the most difficult animals on the planet to breed in captivity. As it turns out, all we needed to do was shut down the world for a few weeks and the pandas would proliferate…kind of.
Two 14-year-old Giant Pandas at a zoo in Hong Kong have been attempting to breed in captivity for over a decade and they’ve finally conceived a baby panda after the zoo was shutdown for several weeks due to the global health crisis. Here’s the report from USA Today:
As a zoo in Hong Kong closed to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic, two giant pandas who hadn’t mated after a decade of attempts finally did the deed Monday morning.
Ocean Park said its 14-year-old giant pandas, female Ying Ying and male Le Le, had been showing signs for a couple of weeks that they were entering the breeding season.
About 9 a.m. Monday, the two pandas marked “the first success since the two giant pandas began attempts at natural mating a decade ago,” Ocean Park said in a statement.
Zoo officials hope the mating will bring a pregnancy later in the year for Ying Ying. The zoo said the gestation period for giant pandas is 72 to 324 days, though the World Wildlife Fund puts the gestation period at 95 to 160 days.
The zoo said a pregnancy can’t be detected on an ultrasound until 14 to 17 days before birth.
“The successful natural mating process today is extremely exciting for all of us, as the chance of pregnancy via natural mating is higher than by artificial insemination,” Michael Boos, Ocean Park’s executive director in zoological operations and conservation, said in a statement. (via USA Today)
The most recent census found that there were 1,864 Giant Pandas living in the wild. That number was around 1,000 in the 1970s so it’s been on the rise. There are around 300 giant pandas in captivity across the world. You don’t need to be a mathematician to recognize that this is an EXTREMELY rare animal across the planet and this pregnancy is very exciting news for conservationists.
To read more about this developing story, you can click here to visit USA Today.