Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Giant Panda Mating Season At National Zoo

Date:
March 21, 2008
Source:
Smithsonian
Summary:
The 2008 giant panda mating season began March 18, at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Female Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and male Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN) attempted to mate throughout the day Tuesday. Zoo staff carefully observed each mating and, because satisfactory mating did not occur, Zoo scientists and veterinarians performed a nonsurgical artificial insemination Wednesday morning. Both pandas were anesthetized, allowing Zoo scientists to collect sperm from Tian Tian and insert it directly into Mei Xiang's uterus.

Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, was artificially inseminated March 19 by a team of Zoo scientists and veterinarians. The decision to perform the procedure was made after no successful mating had occurred between Mei Xiang and the Zoo's adult male panda Tian Tian. Timing was critical since giant pandas have one breeding season per year lasting only 24 to 48 hours. If the insemination is successful, the female panda is expected to give birth in the next 90 to 185 days.
Credit: Jessie Cohen/Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The 2008 giant panda mating season began Tuesday, March 18, at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Female Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and male Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN) attempted to mate throughout the day Tuesday.

Related Articles


Zoo staff carefully observed each mating and, because satisfactory mating did not occur, Zoo scientists and veterinarians performed a nonsurgical artificial insemination Wednesday morning. Both pandas were anesthetized, allowing Zoo scientists to collect sperm from Tian Tian and insert it directly into Mei Xiang's uterus.

Giant pandas have one very brief breeding season per year, with only a day or two of actual mating.

Zoo staff separated Mei Xiang and Tian Tian prior to mating. Following mating, they will remain separated for the next few months, until Mei Xiang either delivers a cub, or until Zoo scientists determine that she is not pregnant. Keeping the pandas separated will reduce the risk of increased stress hormone levels in Mei Xiang, which could jeopardize ovulation, conception and implantation. Veterinarians will monitor Mei Xiang's hormone levels and perform ultrasounds to determine whether or not she is pregnant.

A team of experts from the National Zoo developed the comprehensive breeding plan for the Zoo's giant pandas. They took into consideration the genetic goals for the zoo population in addition to the welfare of each animal.

During 2007's breeding season, the National Zoo collaborated with the San Diego Zoo to use frozen semen from their male panda, Gao Gao (gow-GOW). As part of the breeding plan, he was considered again this year to be an ideal sperm donor for Mei Xiang. In February, Gao Gao was examined for signs of discomfort. A definitive cause could not be determined, but the panda's discomfort may be related to arthritis. Because his condition is still being monitored, scientists and veterinarians decided not to anesthetize him for semen collection and, instead, allow Mei Xiang to mate with Tian Tian.

This year's breeding is very similar to what took place in 2005, when scientists performed an artificial insemination after natural mating attempts between the two bears proved unsuccessful. That led to cub Tai Shan (tie-SHON), who was born July 9, 2005. He will remain at the National Zoo until some time after his fourth birthday, when he will be sent to a giant panda preserve in China.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Smithsonian. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Smithsonian. "Giant Panda Mating Season At National Zoo." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320163106.htm>.
Smithsonian. (2008, March 21). Giant Panda Mating Season At National Zoo. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320163106.htm
Smithsonian. "Giant Panda Mating Season At National Zoo." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320163106.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Bear Cubs Tumble for the Media

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) — Two Andean bear cubs are unveiled at the U.S. National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Alicia Powell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins