Artificial insemination planned for mainland’s giant panda in Taiwan

February 11th, 2011 - 5:19 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Feb 11 (ANI): A panda pair presented by the Chinese mainland to Taiwan is likely to give birth to cubs, if attempts at artificial insemination prove successful, say experts.

Panda experts from the mainland and Taiwan collected sperm from Tuan Tuan, a male panda, and used it to artificially inseminate his female companion, Yuan Yuan, reports the China Daily.

So far, attempts to have Yuan Yuan impregnated the old fashioned way have failed.

Tuan Tuan’s sperm is potent enough. But he seems to show little interest in his ruttish partner, said Zhang Hemin, chief of the administrative bureau of Wolong National Natural Reserve in Southwest China’s Sichuan province.

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan-whose first or last names mixed together to read Tuan Yuan mean ‘reunion’ in Chinese-have been in Taiwan for more than two years.

Taipei Zoo keeps the two pandas in separate cages on purpose.

If they are too familiar with each other, they might begin to feel as if they are a brother-and-sister pair. Such sentiments would not be conducive to natural intercourse and reproduction, said Jason Yeh, the director of the Taipei Zoo.

Even so, the keepers make them swap cages every day, keeping them familiar with their partner’s smell in the hopes of increasing their sexual attraction to each other, he said.

Yeh also said zoo keepers have tried to arouse Tuan Tuan’s lustfulness by repeatedly having him listen to the recorded noise of a female panda in heat. (ANI)

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