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Ocean Park Reopens Giant Panda Adventure to Public


Ocean Park concluded this year’s two-day mating season for female giant panda Ying Ying and male giant panda Le Le on 22 April, and reopened the Park’s Giant Panda Adventure to the public today. During this year’s mating season, the giant pandas were together for five natural mating opportunities but all their attempts appeared unsuccessful. As female giant panda’s peak oestrous happen within 24 to 72 hours, artificial insemination on Ying Ying with Le Le’s fresh semen were administered two times to help increase her chance of pregnancy, in hope to contribute to the conservation of the vulnerable species.
Suzanne Gendron, Executive Director of Zoological Operations and Conservation of Ocean Park, said, “It is encouraging to see a higher number of natural mating attempts between Ying Ying and Le Le this year, and we will continue to closely monitor Ying Ying’s condition over the coming months. If successful, we expect to observe signs of pregnancy, including fluctuations in hormonal levels and behavioural changes such as decreased food intake around summer. Whilst she can also experience the same changes in a pseudo-pregnancy, we remain hopeful for success in breeding our giant pandas this year.” 
Zhou Ying Min, expert in giant panda breeding and research from the China Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Panda, said, “We have been working closely with Ocean Park’s animal care and veterinary team to determine the best timing for putting the two giant pandas together for mating, based on their hormonal levels and behavioural observation. The giant pandas were observed to be together for five natural mating opportunities but all their attempts appeared unsuccessful. Since the peak oestrous for female giant pandas happen within 24 to 72 hours, using artificial insemination during this crucial window may help increase Ying Ying’s likelihood of becoming pregnant.”
The gestation period for giant pandas lasts between 72 and 324 days and pregnancy confirmation can only be detected by ultrasound scan earliest 14 to 17 days before birth. Ocean Park will continue to update the public on the latest developments of Ying Ying and Le Le as information becomes available.