Is it due to the absence of people, this panda couple is less shy and willing to breed?
Giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le are long-time members of the Hong Kong Ocean Park Zoo. Monday April 6, after 10 years of waiting, the zoo announced that the couple had finally “agreed” to reproduce.
“It’s really exciting for us because the chances of getting pregnant through natural mating are much higher than the artificial method.” – Michael Boos, director of the zoo, said in the press release.
Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the park has been forced to close since the end of January. According to CNN, the annual breeding season for pandas is usually between March and May. Zoo staff are watching. Behavior of 2 pandas per breeding season.
“Since the end of March, Ying Ying has started to play more in the water, while Le Le is actively trying to mark his territory, in addition to looking for the scent of Ying Ying.” – The press release says.
It is still too early to tell that a baby panda is about to be born, changes in Ying Ying’s appearance and behavior are being monitored. “If this is successful, by the end of June at the latest, signs of pregnancy will appear, which also includes hormonal and behavioral changes. However, there is always the possibility of Ying Ying. Ying is likely to experience symptoms of false pregnancy. “- Mr. Boos said.
Either way, this is still important news in an effort to conserve vulnerable populations. There are currently around 1,800 large pandas in the wild, data provided by Ocean Park.
“We hope to bring the news of the pandas’ pregnancy to the people of Hong Kong this year and also contribute to the conservation of the animal.” – Boos said that if Ying Ying gets pregnant, the gestation period should last from 72 to 324 days.