‘Inexperienced’ panda Xing Xing fails to perform
KUALA LUMPUR — The giant panda pair of Xing Xing and Liang Liang have not been able to mate for the second time, after a year at the Giant Panda Conservation Center (GPCC) here.
GPCC Zoology and Veterinary director Dr. Mat Naim Ramli said GPCC would train the male giant panda Xing Xing to accept the female panda Liang Liang in another attempt next year.
He said Xing Xing did not seem to accept Liang Liang’s presence.
“Xing Xing is inexperienced and tried to avoid the process, compared to Liang Liang which is experienced and had given birth in China several years ago,” he said.
Dr. Mat Naim also said panda pairs only go through the mating process once a year, namely from April to May
“We will start making preparations by observing the movements of the pair in March next year,” he told reporters here, Saturday.
The pair from Chengdu, China was loaned via the Giant Panda International Conservation Cooperation Agreement Program and arrived in Malaysia on May 21 last year.
The agreement on the program between Malaysia and China was signed in 2012, which gives Malaysia an opportunity to conduct panda-related conservation research, besides developing local expertise on pandas over a 10-year period.
Dr. Mat Naim said the first mating attempt occurred from May 21 to 27 last year, while they were being quarantined after the pair’s arrival from China.
He said they detected signs that the female panda was ready to mate for the second time in early April.
“We tried to place the pair for the mating process for 10 days from April 28 to May 7 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., before they were released for exhibition.
“During the 10 days, the pair went through the process of mating several times but were unsuccessful,” he said.
Dr. Mat Naim said Xing Xing currently weighed 127kg while Liang Liang weighed 104kg.
“They are hand-fed in the morning and evening daily with 30kg of bamboo, fruits and panda cake,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Zoology Society deputy director Rosly @ Rahmat Ahmat Lana said the National Zoo would hold a Panda Birthday celebration on Sept. 3.
“Anybody who is born on Aug. 23 will be eligible to enter the National Zoo and GPCC for free,” he added.
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