Close up of a cute baby 7-month old panda cub in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan, China. Image credit: Sheila Lau. Source: Wikipedia
Finally some good news on the environment, on ecology and on the Giant Panda: a revolutionary new technique developed by the PR China’s Chengdu breeding center seems certain to assure that greater numbers of this endangered species can be raised in thereby save it from extinction.
Just 1,600 Giant Pandas live in the wild, in 40 government-controlled panda reserves in the People’s Republic of China. The new breeding program has raised the number of animals bred in captivity to 300, while just this year 19 cubs have been born after artificial insemination programs in China’s two main breeding centers.
Breeding Giant Pandas in captivity is no easy task. They have the strangest gestation period which can range from eleven weeks to eleven months, they appear not to be sexually aroused by being held in captivity, females are on heat for 72 hours a year and are fertile during a 12 to 24-hour window inside that period. The small size of the male penis also means the mating position has to be exactly right, and this is not always possible in captivity. (more…)