Everything you always wanted to know about panda sex
August 26, 2015 10:03 AM   Subscribe

Since the pandas’ arrival, the team at Edinburgh zoo had already tried three times to breed the bears – with considerable fanfare and public attention – and each attempt had ended in disappointment. After a thoroughgoing review of these attempts in late 2014, this year’s season carried with it a sense of added pressure. But the keepers had also come up with one or two new tricks. A few weeks earlier, Maclean had daubed urine from Long Hui, an impressive male panda kept at Schönbrunn zoo, in Vienna, all over Yang Guang and Tian Tian’s enclosures, in order to spice the air with competition and possibility. “She spent a lot of time sniffing and seeing what was going on,” said Maclean. “He came out and was just like, ‘Whoa!’ He was all over the place.”
posted by ChuraChura (17 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite


This was really interesting. All joking aside, it seems like incredibly frustrating work.

Joking not aside, I can't read anything about Panda reproduction without thinking of Corky and the Juice Pigs' "The Pandas Must Die"
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:16 AM on August 26, 2015

This made me sad for Tian Tian, all those folk working so hard to help her have a baby, and the species itself. Thanks for posting.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:20 AM on August 26, 2015

Metafilter's own XQUZYPHYR wrote the definitive treatise on why pandas are terrible at reproduction some years back.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:26 AM on August 26, 2015 [10 favorites]

Best icing on the cake pun I've encountered in some time
posted by mrdaneri at 10:34 AM on August 26, 2015

Panda Style
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 10:50 AM on August 26, 2015

And this answer, which also talks about terrible panda reproduction, made me laugh out loud.
posted by Melismata at 10:53 AM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I always wondered if you raised a male and a female human baby in captivity, with no contact with other humans, would they instinctively know how to mate? Would they be able to figure it out?
posted by Sangermaine at 11:11 AM on August 26, 2015

Sangermaine: according to the movie Blue Lagoon, yes.
posted by Melismata at 11:14 AM on August 26, 2015 [6 favorites]

But that's if they're both blessed with perfect teen heartthrob/supermodel genes. What about the ugly babies?
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:16 AM on August 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

posted by symbioid at 12:11 PM on August 26, 2015

You know why the panda keepers at the National Zoo in Washington DC keep artificially-inseminating their female panda every year? After all, why not just put her with their male and let them handle it naturally, right?

The answer is, the National Zoo's male panda is officially listed by the Zoo's experienced veterinarians as "an incompetent breeder" --- basically, the female panda is just fine, but she gets pissed off because he still can't seem to figure out what goes where......

I'm sure the National Zoo keepers all sympathize with their Edinburgh counterparts.
posted by easily confused at 12:14 PM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

Isn't the whole point that all male pandas are fucking idiots and can't figure it out?
And that there's only a 24 hour window to fuck all year long?

I just realized that perhaps Spermbird's "Playboy Subscriber" is really just about Panda sex...
posted by symbioid at 12:19 PM on August 26, 2015

there is nothing i have ever wanted to learn about panda sex. all my panda sex knowledge was thrust upon me unwillingly as i stopped to rest a moment on a comfy couch in front of a wall of tvs inside the panda learning center in the wolong panda reserve after a long and enjoyable day of frolicking in their bamboo forest and shrieking with glee at the sight of many tiny baby pandas in their cribs and juvenile pandas engaged in all manner of ridiculously cute activities on slides and jungle gyms.

all of a sudden the onscreen images went from neatly bescrubbed panda scientists holding tiny baby pandas proudly in their arms to wholly unnecessary close up images of panda vaginas being inseminated and i screamed like a small child whose favourite dolly has been beheaded before their eyes.
posted by poffin boffin at 3:14 PM on August 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

did not want
posted by poffin boffin at 3:14 PM on August 26, 2015

Fascinating but sad, just as you say.

I tried to concentrate properly on the Guardian article all the way through, but somewhere after the line 'died after a routine electro-ejaculation' I was distracted by part of my mind shrieking 'Aaaaaaaaaaaaa'
posted by The Zeroth Law at 5:49 PM on August 27, 2015

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