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Fu Ni is growing up

Posted by Jeroen Jacobs | Date: 2010 11 18 | In: Adelaide Zoo


Around 3 weeks ago Fu Ni started displaying some different behaviours to her normal playful self. Her keepers first noticed that she became increasingly fussy over her bamboo and eventually almost completely stopped eating it! She was not as cub like in her behaviour with the keepers either. Most mornings they are greeted by a very playful, energetic girl that wants to have a roll around and, as all of her keepers affectionately say a Fu Ni break dance, spinning around on her back trying to get the keepers attention as they try to get work done!

This behaviour though had slowed down a lot and then one day when her keeper came in she was vocalizing. They have heard vocalizing before but normally from Wang Wang, either when he is telling them to hurry up with his food or during the mesh introductions. This call was different and they had never heard Fu Ni make it! It was fairly constant for a few days and along with other signs she showed that she was coming into season. Wang Wang did show some interest in her as well.

Senior Panda Keeper Simone Bayly : “We did several mesh introductions, this is where they can sniff and touch each other without being able to hurt each other, and the signs all looked fairly good. Some of you may be wondering why did not put them together and try to breed. Well the answer is that Fu Ni is still young and while she did come into season it was definitely not a complete oestrus cycle….meaning that while it is good that she displayed these behaviours because of her age she is just a bit too young still. What it does help with though is that it has given us a better understanding of signs that we need to look out for and most importantly when this season may occur! As I have said previously, these are the first two Giant Pandas in the southern hemisphere and so there is no data on what will happen hormonally with these two. It is currently the end of the birthing season over in China, so this does make sense for her to come into season now. There is also still a chance that she may also come into season next April/May as this is the mating season in China! I guess we will just wait and see what happens next year, she is still our little girl but it is good to see her growing up and getting ready for the future…”

Source: http://www.giantpanda.org.au/index.php/blog/126-funi-is-growing-up.html

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