The Giant Pandas at Tiergarten Schönbrunn / Zoo Vienna are full of spring feelings: Yang Yang and Long Hui have mated multiple times on March 23, 2016.
Tiergarten Schönbrunn is the only European zoos where these endangered bears have reproduced naturally.
“The mating season for pandas is only once a year and that for a very short time. The females are only fertile for two or three days”, explains Dagmar Schratter the zoo director.
For about a week the animal keepers have been noticing the signs and have let the two bears get together; outside of the mating season these animals are loners. During this period the animals are restless, they don’t eat much, they leave their mark everywhere and make a lot of noise. Now it is just a matter of waiting, and in a couple of months we will know if the mating was successful. The gestation period varies between 97 and 163 days. The reason for this is the so-called “delayed implantation”. During this process the fertilised egg cell rests in the uterus before it is properly implanted and starts to develop.
Photo credit: Tiergarten Schönbrunn / Zoo Vienna – Norbert Potensky