TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The large female panda at the Taipei Zoo, Yuan Yuan, has been artificially inseminated, it has been reported, after her partner Tuan Tuan, failed to mate with her during the height of her fertility cycle.
Despite his best efforts, and being denied the opportunity for almost an entire year, Tuan Tuan was unable to deliver on the spot. The missed opportunity led officials at the zoo to the decision to go ahead and help in the reproduction process.
The two pandas were given to Taiwan as a gesture of goodwill from China in 2008 at the beginning of the first term of the Ma administration. Yuan Yuan has undergone the artificial insemination procedure before, resulting in the birth of the pair’s cub Yuan Zai on July 6, 2013.
According to the report at the Daily Mail, female pandas are generally only in heat for a 24 to 72 hour window every spring. This year, Feb. 20 was decided as the best window of opportunity for Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan to do things the old fashioned way.
Tuan Tuan was reportedly very eager, but not very proficient in his efforts, and after several clumsy attempts, zoo keepers decided to call things off to make better use of the remaining hours of this year’s fertility cycle.
The procedure was repeated a second time on the morning of Feb. 21 to increase the chances that Yuan Yuan’s eggs would be successfully fertilized, reports the Daily Mail.
Tuan Tuan gives it his best shot (CNA Image)