Love was in the air this breeding season for Thailand’s returned sweetheart, Lin Ping.
Spring is the season of love for Giant Pandas. The pandas are enjoying the spring sunshine and CCRCGP is in full breeding mode – monitoring the females, setting up “liasons”, and performing artificial inseminations when deemed necessary.
Unlike last year when her behavior during breeding season stayed consistent with no signs of estrous, this year Lin Ping’s behavior seemed a little “abnormal” – she exhibited all of the signs of being ready to mate.
On the evening of March 30, Wu Gang was presented as a potential “love connection” to Lin Ping. You might say it was love at first sight for the healthy male. He pursued her fiercely, but being her first mating encounter, Lin Ping was cautious. Their first attempts to mate the morning of the 31st were unsuccessful (Wu Gang is new at this mating thing too). Wu Gang was persistent, however, and the couple eventually successfully completed the first natural mating.
Given that female pandas are only fertile for about 48 hours, CCRCGP took advantage of Lin Ping’s cycle and introduced a second male, Bai Yang, to the enclosure. The two hit it off immediately and mated successfully four times. However, during one of her mating encounters with Bai Yang, he got a little bit aggressive, as pandas often do in the wild and captivity when mating, and bit Lin Ping on the shoulder. Keepers immediately treated her and shaved the wound around the bite to prevent any infection. She is doing very well. This incident reminds us that Giant Pandas are indeed bears and even in captivity they will display their innate wild behavior.
To ensure that Lin Ping successfully participated this breeding season, CCRCGP staff also performed an artificial insemination. Our fingers are crossed that this beauty becomes a mother this year.