Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > China Video

Captive panda successfully mates in the wild, expected to give birth to twins


04-25-2017 08:31 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

In a rare occurrence, a female giant panda raised in captivity has mated in the wild, and is expected to give birth to twins in July or August this year. Cao Cao was released back into the wilderness in Sichuan Province, southwest China, just in time for the mating season from March to May. Her pregnancy marks China's progress in breeding pandas in the wilderness.

Eat, sleep, and do a little else. 15-year-old captive-raised Cao Cao was in heat. And with the purpose of breeding in mind, Cao Cao was released into the wild with a GPS tag on her neck, fitted with a recording device.

In March, researchers saw several males at the Wolong National Nature Reserve fighting for the right to mate with her. She eventually mated with a wild panda and records show the mating lasted for 90 seconds.

"Because we trained Cao Cao in the wild for years, we felt that she is very experienced. We then released her into the wild, hoping she could give birth to babies in the wild, and come back with the experience of living in the wild. We hope this will kickstart more efforts of releasing more pandas into the wild in the future," Zhang Hemin, director of China Conservation and Research Center For The Giant Panda, said.

Rescued from the wild in 2003 as a panda cub, Cao Cao has come a long way. The adult panda's 15 years in age is the equivalent to that of a 30-year-old human.

She had previously given birth to cubs four times and there will be a happy addition to this soon, with twin pandas on the way!

"She gave birth to one cub the first time, twins the second time, one cub the third time and twins again the fourth time. So through the years, she has either been giving birth to one cub at a time, or twins. We predict she will have twins this year," Zhang said.

The population of captive bred pandas is 471, and this figure keeps increasing. To increase the genetic diversity of the captive stock, more are being released into the wilderness to mate with wild ones. And hopefully all efforts to do so, are as successful as Cao Cao's foray into the wild.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat