The 2015 Adelaide Zoo Giant Panda breeding season is currently underway as Fu Ni heads towards the peak of her yearly oestrous cycle. Introductions between Wang Wang and Fu Ni began this morning in the Bamboo Forest.
Giant Panda reproductive specialist Professor Tang of the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda at Wolong is onsite to help support breeding season activities.
Behavioural and physiological signs in addition to hormone analysis are being used to identify the extremely short window of fertility, lasting approximately 36 hours a year.
Adelaide Zoo staff were very pleased with the natural breeding behaviours both pandas displayed last year, in particular the dominant male behaviours Wang Wang displayed. These advancements, coupled with more experience and maturity will greatly increase the likelihood of a natural mating this year.
A natural mating is the Zoo’s preferred option for breeding pandas, however the team is prepared to utilise artificial insemination should a successful mating not occur. This reproductive aid has played an important role in the captive breeding of Giant Pandas around the world due to the species’ unique reproductive biology.