'Panda Porn' to Boost Male's Sex Drive

It truly seems an enviable existence to be a panda, spending up to 16 hours a day eating, eight hours a day sleeping, and almost zero hours moving.

But during mating time, the panda's life gets a little more complicated. Most male pandas in captivity would rather lie around and chew bamboo than stand up and get busy.

"The mating time is generally not so long. Sometimes several minutes. The shortest may be 30 seconds," said Zhang Zhihe, director of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, China. "If they don't like the female's personality or the females don't like the male's personality, they won't mate. That's the biggest reason why in captivity the mating is difficult."

While that may sound perfectly reasonable for humans, it's a problem when it comes to securing the future of the species.

Pandas are known to be isolated creatures and poor breeders, and in captivity the problem may be exacerbated. Zhihe and his team have tried a number of measures to try to cure the male panda of his woefully low libido -- including showing videos of fellow pandas making love.

In the privacy of their own cages, captive male pandas watch the sights and sounds of love-making on TV. Hopefully, Zhihe says, they'll be aroused.

"We're sure the sound of the video will stimulate the panda and the males' interest," Zhihe said.

Along with watching porn, pandas are doing "sexercises," or specialized exercises to strengthen the males' hind legs and increase their stamina.

Scientists have found that the combination of porn, exercises, and the occasional menage a trois -- to get young male pandas curious about sex -- have proved successful.

Zhihe says that more than 60 percent of his pandas are now capable of having sex on their own -- up from just 25 percent twenty years ago.

Panda Mating Season Around the Corner

Pandas are a shrinking species. Only 1,600 exist in the wild and there are 294 in captivity worldwide. Zhihe says that with 300 they will have the genetic diversity needed to ensure the survival of the species for another century and could eventually consider returning them to the wild.

"One of the challenges facing institutions around the world [is] to have pandas breed naturally," said Bonnie Purdue, a student at Georgia Tech, who studies pandas. "By using chemical olfaction, putting the scents of pandas in the other enclosures so that they can smell other pandas, providing visual access leading up to the breeding season so that they can see other pandas and also playing vocal recordings and sounds of pandas to try to stimulate breeding. So all these efforts are taking place right now in hopes of establishing a self-sustaining captive population."

In recent years, record numbers of panda cubs have been born as a result of new mating techniques and improved artificial insemination methods.

With mating season around the corner, the mission for scientists is clear: inspire the pandas to do a little bit less sleeping and eating and a little bit more getting it on.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 9718714.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...