Pandas in Dutch zoo finally have sex after three years, boosting hopes for a cub

Sylvia Looi
Xing Ya and Wu Wen successfully mated at a Dutch zoo after staying there since May 2017. — Photo via Facebook/@Ouwehandszoo

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — It has been a long wait at a Dutch zoo but two of its pandas there have finally mated.

Xing Ya and Wu Wen had arrived at the specially-built enclosure in Ouwehands Dierenpark Rhenen in May 2017 and zookeepers had been trying since then to get the endangered species to have sex.

According to portal Dutch News, zookeepers managed to capture the intimate moment on camera.

A zoo spokesman quoted by the portal said it would be an exciting few weeks as Wu Wen would have her urine tested daily to confirm whether she was pregnant.

“Female pandas are only fertile for three to seven days a year,” the portal reported.

Since arriving at the zoo, officials have been working tirelessly to encourage Xing Ya and Wu Wen, now six years old, to mate but to no avail.

“They have been spreading each panda’s urine in the other’s sleeping area, and played Xing Ya recordings of other pandas mating.

“He has also been trained to stand on his back feet so he can do the deed,” the portal added.

It also said that Xing Ya showed signs he was ready to mate at the end of last week and zookeepers had been busy encouraging the lovable mammals to do it in a special enclosure since then.

The last attempt to get Xing Ya and Wu Wen to mate was in March last year but was unsuccessful as Xing Ya was found to be too young.

The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) has estimated that there are 1,864 pandas in the wild in China.

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