Maybe they needed privacy?
Or were they just bored during the coronavirus lockdown?
After nearly a decade of trying, giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le finally mated in their enclosure at the Ocean Park zoo in Hong Kong on Monday.
No visitors witnessed the intimate moment between the two 14-year-old pandas in person, however, because the attraction has been closed since late January due to the pandemic.
The zoo announced the news with a sweet picture of the pair on Instagram:
Giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le succeeded in a natural mating, @Ocean_Park has announced. “We hope to bear wonderful pregnancy news to Hong Kongers this year and make further contributions to the conservation of this vulnerable species,” the park’s Michael Boos said. pic.twitter.com/yJCpCdVHeK
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) April 6, 2020
“The successful natural mating process today is extremely exciting for all of us, as the chance of pregnancy via natural mating is higher than by artificial insemination,” Michael Boos, executive director of the zoo, said in a statement online.
Female giant pandas are reportedly only fertile during a single, 24- to 72-hour period each year. It is also believed that the male and female have to be attracted to each other before they can mate.
“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,” Boos added. “We hope to bear wonderful pregnancy news to Hong Kongers this year and make further contributions to the conservation of this vulnerable species.”