From December 17, for the first time, visitors to Adelaide Zoo can view the Zoo’s two Giant Pandas Wang Wang and Funi sharing an exhibit daily. Although this year’s breeding season didn’t result in a pregnancy, introductions between the pair went very well. Senior Panda Keeper, Simone Davey, said Giant Pandas are normally solitary animals, however during introductions it was observed the pair really enjoyed each others company. “Keepers have continued periodic behind-the-scenes introductions with the pair since September as part of their enrichment program,” Mrs Davey said. “We’re seeing really positive signs – they’re exhibiting natural play behaviours and it’s wonderful to see the pair spending time together. We’re pleased to be able to share this special experience with the public.” Extended panda introductions between mating pairs have been successful with other international institutions and it’s hoped the introductions between the Southern Hemispheres only two Giant Pandas will aid in a successful mating. “It’s hoped the extended introductions between the pair will reduce play behaviour during the next breeding season,” Mrs Davey said. “We also hope Wang Wang will know the difference between Funi’s normal everyday behaviours and when she shows physical signs of coming into season. “The introductions also have the added benefit of keeping the pair fit and active as they wrestle and play in their specially designed exhibit. The increased stamina and fitness will also aid in the breeding process.” Starting December 17 Wang Wang and Funi will share an exhibit and dayroom daily between 10:30-11:30am. The possibility of extended sessions is up to Keeper discretion.
Source: Adelaide Zoo
Photo Credit: Rosemary Richards