[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Sex films help panda get pregnant
Hua Mei (archive picture)
Hua Mei moved to China this year
A Chinese project to screen videos of pandas mating to captive animals seems to be bearing fruit, with news that a four-year-old panda is pregnant.

Hua Mei, who was born in the US but moved to China in February, was shown the videos as preparation for a series of "blind dates", the China Daily said.

The female was shown the videos because experts feared she had little knowledge of mating after living in captivity.

Pandas rarely breed in captivity and are endangered in the wild.

Hua Mei, who was born to two Chinese pandas on loan to San Diego zoo, is the first foreign-born panda to return to China.

She has been shown the videos since she arrived at the Wolong Giant Panda Protection Centre in south west China in February, the Beijing Morning Post reported.

China last week announced the results of a first comprehensive survey of its wild panda population.

This showed there were an estimated 1,600 of the creatures left in the wild, 40% more than previous figures suggested.

Correspondents warned that the numbers might reflect the fact that the survey was so thorough, rather than a genuine recovery in numbers.

A further 161 pandas were reported to be living in captivity.

China finds more wild pandas
10 Jun 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Red pandas break cover
15 Oct 03 |  Bristol/Somerset
Underfed pandas given energy biscuits
23 Dec 02 |  Asia-Pacific
Panda clone could save species
22 Jun 99 |  Science/Nature

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific