Qizai, the only brown panda in the world, tried and failed in its first attempt to naturally mate. Qizai was abandoned by his mother at 2 months old and was found as a weak and neglected cub in a nature reserve in Qingling Mountains in Central China. He also had to face bullying from other pandas growing up. But now, Qizai is thriving and is a celebrity of the animal world!
Qizai, whose name means ‘the seventh son’, now weighs 120 kilograms and is the only panda with white and brown strips, unlike most which are dominantly of black and white color.
According to the Research Center of Giant Panda Breeding in China’s northwest Shaanxi Province, Zhuzhu, a female giant panda, was selected to copulate with Qizai as she had successfully given birth four times.
The Center said that in the second half of June, Zhuzhu was in her estrus cycle. Staff members put the two giant pandas in neighboring enclosures and they soon began interacting. Qizai was seen often trying to pat Zhuzhu through the fence while Zhuzhu also showed interest. But since it was the first time for Qizai, they didn’t make it.
The best time for a giant panda to conceive usually lasts one to three days every year. In order not to miss this period for Zhuzhu, the Research Center eventually attempted artificial insemination. The outcome will not be known until next month.