The corona-virus pandemic has seemingly brought good news for a panda couple in a zoo in Hong Kong. The two pandas, male Le Le and female Ying Ying, had been observed trying to mate with each other for about over a decade. And with the zoo being closed due to the pandemic, the two giant pandas finally did the deed. As it appears, all it needed was some isolation in this case too.
Ying Ying and Le Le, two giant pandas who could never quite get in the mood over 13 years of living together in a Hong Kong zoo, successfully mated on Monday, a rare feat for the famously low-libido species https://t.co/ngdA6zIzHB
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 8, 2020
Breeding in Giant Pandas:
The zoo Ocean Park told to the world that the two 14 year old pandas had been showing clear indications and signs that they had entered the breeding season since the last two weeks. Breeding season is essential to the panda specie, especially near to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), because they have multiple times stressed over the fact that pandas are endangered species. Studies have found that natural mating between the pandas is the best way for dragging this rare yet beautiful specie out of the danger zone of extinction.
As the executive director in zoological operations and conservation for Ocean Park also said that the chance of pregnancy by natural mating is much higher than artificial insemination.
What’s the good news?
Zoo officials have registered their excitement in their report which says that Ying Ying can develop pregnancy in the coming months in this very year. The reproduction cycle of pandas is very different from other mammals. The zoo officials have put the gestation period of pandas at about 72 to 324 days whereas WWF has 95 to 160 days in its official records. Giant pandas do not show any signs of fetus in ultrasounds until about 14 to 17 days before the actual birth of the cub.
When cubs are born, they are about 1/900th of the size of their mothers, skinless and extremely frail. They are highly dependent on the care they receive from external sources to reach to a point where they seem sustainable to life itself. The zoo officials have said that it will go to extreme lengths to preserve and nourish the coming generations.
Let’s hope that the efforts to protect pandas prove to be fruitful so that we may get to see these lazy, but cute animals around us again.