Technology & Science

Giant pandas finally mate after park closed due to coronavirus

Hong Kong giant pandas residing in Ocean Park "successfully" mated naturally for the first time on Monday after a decade of attempts, the theme park announced.

Hong Kong's Ocean Park had tried unsuccessfully to get Ying Ying and Le Le to mate since 2010

A giant panda Le Le eats bamboo at his enclosure at the Ocean Park at Aberdeen's harbour southwest of Hong Kong in a 2019 file photo. (Amr Abdallah/Reuters)

Hong Kong giant pandas residing in Ocean Park "successfully" mated naturally for the first time on Monday after a decade of attempts, the theme park announced.

Ocean Park had tried to get the 14-year-old female and male giant pandas, Ying Ying and Le Le, to mate naturally since 2010 but with no success.

The park said if Ying Ying is pregnant, the signs may be observed as early as late June.

The pair, which came to Hong Kong in 2007, joined a national breeding programme in China in 2015, as artificial insemination and efforts to encourage mating have failed. Ying Ying was subsequently confirmed pregnant but miscarried.

There were several false alarms afterwards.

The theme park has been closed since late January to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

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