Japan zoo gives pandas privacy as mating season starts

March 5, 2014
Shin Shin, a female giant panda, walks in her enclosure at Ueno zoo in Tokyo on March 4, 2014

A Tokyo zoo is to shutter its panda display in an effort to encourage the famously lethargic creatures to concentrate on mating without the distraction of spectators, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Starting Thursday, Shin Shin and her companion Ri Ri will be given a bit of alone time at Ueno Zoo after she began exhibiting signs that she was ready to procreate.

"Shin Shin is moving around more often and bleating like a sheep, a sign that it is season," the spokeswoman said.

"The two have good chemistry and we all hope the couple will bear a healthy new baby," she said.

The couple captivated Japan in 2012 when Shin Shin gave birth to a cub, the first born at the in 24 years.

However, the baby bear died from pneumonia a short time later, an event that provoked newsflashes on national television.

Despite the weight of public expectations, last year's was unsuccessful.

Pandas, whose natural habitat lies in mountainous southwestern China, have a low reproductive rate and are under pressure from factors such as habitat loss.

Explore further: 6-day-old panda dies of pneumonia at Tokyo zoo

Related Stories

6-day-old panda dies of pneumonia at Tokyo zoo

July 11, 2012

(AP) — A baby giant panda died at a Tokyo zoo on Wednesday, less than a week after becoming the first to be born at the facility in 24 years. The birth had created excitement across Japan, and the nation was mourning ...

Randy pandas get privacy at Tokyo zoo

March 7, 2013

A pair of pandas in the mood for mating were being given a bit of space Thursday with Japanese zookeepers hoping they will mate on if the public was kept away.

Britain's giant pandas get in the mood

March 13, 2013

He is performing handstands and eating constantly, and she is spraying her home with alluring scents—all the signs point to mating season for Britain's giant pandas.

Mating season over for Japan's pandas

March 15, 2013

A Tokyo zoo put its pandas back on display on Friday after keepers decided mating season was over, with wellwishers hoping their two attempts would bear fruit.

British panda given helping hand in quest for cub

April 21, 2013

Experts at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland have artificially inseminated Britain's only female giant panda Tian Tian after she failed to mate with her male partner, Yang Guang, the zoo announced on Sunday.

Giant panda gives birth in Madrid zoo

August 30, 2013

A giant panda which is already a mother of twins gave birth again Friday in a Madrid zoo, welcoming the tiny new arrival with licks, zoo officials said.

Recommended for you

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

Why a mutant rice called Big Grain1 yields such big grains

August 24, 2015

(Phys.org)—Rice is one of the most important staple crops grown by humans—very possibly the most important in history. With 4.3 billion inhabitants, Asia is home to 60 percent of the world's population, so it's unsurprising ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.