Tuesday, December 19, 2006


The birds and the bears – why old black eyes is back

`After 20 years of trial and error, scientists at Wolong boast they can now breed pandas at will. To counter the suggestion that the captive animals may be too naive about the birds and the bears, the keepers have provided sex education in the form of wildlife videos – dubbed “panda porn” – showing the animals mating in the forests.

To boost sex drive, they once tried the remedy used by countless millions of humans: Viagra. “We’ll never do that again,” Mr Zhang says. “The panda was excited for 24 hours.”

Another challenge was the risk of in-breeding. To widen the genetic stock, researchers had to come up with a way to find a mate for even the least popular females. How did they do that? “We tricked them,” Mr Zhang says with a smile. [..]

“When the males find out, they get very angry and start fighting the female,” Mr Zhang says. “We have had to use firecrackers and a water hose to separate them.”‘

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