Pandas Finally Get It On In Isolation After 10 Years Together While Zoo Closed
After a decade of will-they-won't-they antics, two giant pandas have finally come together to make the beast with two backs.
Ying Ying and Le Le's love story is a long and rocky one.
The 14-year-old giant pandas were placed in the same enclosure more than a decade ago at Hong Kong's Ocean Park theme park, in the hopes that they would one day do the damn thang.
As a species, giant pandas are notoriously difficult to breed, even more so in captivity. In fact, if the phrase 'I have a headache' were an animal, it would the giant panda.
Keepers had all but given up hope, it looked like Ying Ying and Le Le were adamant they were just roommates...
But, as we're all beginning to learn now, roommates begin to look a whole lot more appealing when you're not allowed to leave the house.
So, after ten long years, Ying Ying and Le Le we're caught ridin' dirty as their keepers proudly watched on, cameras in hand.
The pandas were also photographed embracing after the act. There's no photo evidence of Le Le smoking a cigarette in bed, but we can only assume.
That morning, the zoo issued a press release informing the world of the happy news, confirming their pandas had entered their hormonal estrous cycle.
“If successful, signs of pregnancy, including hormonal level fluctuations and behavioural changes may be observed as early as late June, though there is always a chance that Ying Ying could experience a pseudo-pregnancy," said Michael Boos, executive director of zoological operation and conservation.
"We hope to bear wonderful pregnancy news to Hong Kongers this year." He continued, "and make further contributions to the conservation of this vulnerable species.”
Given the pandemic, the zoo has been closed to the public since late January. And it seems that all this alone time got Ms Ying Ying a little hot under the collar.
"Since late March, Ying Ying began spending more time playing in the water, while Le Le has been leaving scent-markings around his habitat and searching the area for Ying Ying's scent," read the press release.
This behavioural change tipped zoo keepers off to the fact that for the first time, a little bit of flirtation was brewing.
Now we can only hope that their morning of passion will lead to a successful pregnancy. A giant panda's gestation period is anywhere between 72 and 324 days.
Fingers crossed, and congratulations to the happy couple!
Featured Image: Ocean Park
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