Mei Xiang, a giant panda at the National Zoo in Washington, was artificially inseminated today, after natural attempts at breeding failed. A team of scientists and veterinarians performed the insemination using a mixture of fresh and frozen semen provided by Tian Tian, the male panda at the zoo.
“We are hopeful that our breeding efforts will be successful this year, and we’re encouraged by all the behaviors and hormonal data we’ve seen so far,” Dave Wildt, head of the Center for Species Survival at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute said. “We have an extremely small window of opportunity to perform the procedures, which is why we monitor behavior and hormones so closely.”
A second insemination will most likely take place later on today. You can read more about the giant Pandas and watch the live Panda cam on the National Zoo website. (Note: the panda cams may be offline today due to the insemination procedures but should be back online on Sunday)