Australian zoo hopeful of panda babies in breeding program

Xinhua
Zookeepers at Adelaide Zoo have announced on Monday that they are hopeful that the only two pandas in Australia - Wang Wang and Fu Ni - may finally be able to successfully breed.
Xinhua

Zookeepers at Adelaide Zoo in the state of South Australia have announced on Monday that they are hopeful that the only two pandas in Australia - Wang Wang and Fu Ni - may finally be able to successfully breed.

Over the past three days, the female Fu Ni underwent three artificial insemination processes, which was a world first, and the senior veterinarian at the zoo, Ian Smith, said on Monday that he is hopeful that this may in fact lead to pregnancy.

"We were extremely pleased with the three procedures, with results again confirming that Wang Wang's semen is of a high quality," Smith said.

In order to give the best possible chance of the pregnancy taking hold, the zoo collaborated with a panda reproductive specialist from China.

"Their complicated reproductive biology presents a number of challenges, however ongoing research efforts continue to improve our understanding of panda reproduction," Smith said.

The two pandas arrived in Australia from the Sichuan Province of China back in 2009, and are in Australia on loan for a period of ten years, with this attempt marking the fourth time that zookeepers have attempted to breed the pair.

Despite not being able to tell for sure if she is pregnant until two weeks before she is able to give birth, the zoo will treat Fu Ni as though she is with cub, and has instituted further measures to minimize her stress levels.


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