Rare opportunity: Real panda love in the Berlin Zoo: Will there be any offspring again?

The Berlin Zoo's only panda pair in Germany is apparently about to mate again: "We can confirm that there are signs of 'panda love'," a zoo spokeswoman told the German Press Agency.

Rare opportunity: Real panda love in the Berlin Zoo: Will there be any offspring again?

The Berlin Zoo's only panda pair in Germany is apparently about to mate again: "We can confirm that there are signs of 'panda love'," a zoo spokeswoman told the German Press Agency. "This is particularly noticeable with Meng Meng through an initial whine."

The time window in which female pandas like Meng Meng are ready to conceive is very short - a maximum of 72 hours - usually in spring. At the Berlin Zoo, the behavior of the giant pandas is monitored very closely and mating is meticulously prepared. Most recently, Meng Meng's employees collected urine samples every day. It's about reading hormonal changes. A few days ago, zoo director Andreas Knieriem told the “Berliner Morgenpost”: “We are close to mating.”

According to the spokeswoman, the zoo is in close contact with other experts and is preparing for the "infamous 72 hours of fertility" of the female panda.

Five years ago, the pairing was achieved using artificial insemination. Experts from China came especially for this purpose. When the time comes, experts in reproductive medicine from China will be called in again this year. In 2019, the first panda birth in a German zoo was a sensation: The twins Pit and Paule are no longer in Berlin; they were flown to China at the end of last year. This means there is space for young animals again in the panda enclosure at the zoo, which once cost ten million euros.

“Having panda offspring in Berlin again would be the greatest thing for us at Berlin Zoo, because then our guests could follow the first clumsy panda steps live with us this time,” Knieriem announced in February. When Pit and Paule were little, the corona pandemic and lockdowns stood in the way of the hoped-for popular success.

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