Pandas Mate For The First Time In 10 Years After Coronavirus Shuts Down Zoo
We hope to bear wonderful pregnancy news to Hong Kongers this year
Coronavirus has had a huge impact on the whole world, and it's negatively affected our lives. However, there are some positive effects of this pandemic, like this unique event. After 10 years of trying, these two pandas have finally managed to mate, due to their zoo being shut down over the coronavirus outbreak.
The Hong Kong zoo said the giant pandas were finally successful, after "years of trial and learning".
"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," the executive director in Zoological Operations and Conservation said.
"We hope to bear wonderful pregnancy news to Hong Kongers this year and make further contributions to the conservation of this vulnerable species."
The zoo said they noticed Ying Yign, the female panda, playing more in the water, and Le Le, the male, leaving his scent around his habitat.
"Such behaviors are consistent with those common during the breeding season," Ocean Park said on Monday.
"The teams have been closely monitoring the giant pandas' body conditions and behavioral changes and deemed it a peak oestrus this morning for natural mating opportunity."
The zoo said they could detect signs of pregnancy as early as June. Giant pandas are classified as a vulnerable species, as they were upgraded from 'endangered' in 2016, after the Chinese government started a conservation program, to try to boost the giant panda population. The giant panda population is estimated to be between 500 and 1000. A pregnancy would be great news!