Two resident pandas had sexual intercourse after ten long years at the Ocean Park zoo in Hong Kong amid the closed down period due to coronavirus pandemic.
The pandas named Ying Ying and Le Le have been trying for a long time but couldn't manage to succeed for 10 long years. But finally, they did it in total secrecy as the zoo is shut down. As a result, a baby panda might be on the way.
Michael Boos, the executive director of conservation at Ocean Park says "The pandas have been making attempts since 2010 with little success but managed to succeed through years of trial and learning. Our staff at the park are excited by the prospect of a baby panda."
"The chance of pregnancy via natural mating is higher than by artificial insemination," he said in a statement.
Mating season for pandas happens between March and May, so Ocean Park's vet team have been on the lookout for signs of mating.
The zookeepers kept close attention to the panda's hormone levels to see when they're ready to mate. In late March they began flirting in panda fashion - Le Le left his scent markings and sniffed for Ying Ying's scent, while Ying Ying began playing in water.
Panda pregnancy can only be detected by ultrasound around 14 to 17 days before birth. The pregnancy can last for up to 10 months, so it may be a while until staff at the zoo know the results of this attempt.
"We hope to bear wonderful pregnancy news to Hong Kongers this year and make further contributions to the conservation of this vulnerable species," said Michael Boos.