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It Took Quarantine And An Empty Zoo For Two Giant Pandas To Finally Get It On After 10 Years Together

It Took Quarantine And An Empty Zoo For Two Giant Pandas To Finally Get It On After 10 Years Together

Quarantined couples are either feeling amorous during the pandemic or having their patience tested.

But while some people are struggling with their relationships or marriages—with some even ending in divorce— it seems a couple from a different species has used the pandemic to get it on.

Two giant pandas at Ocean Park theme park and zoo in Hong Kong have successfully mated for the first time in ten years.

It took a pandemic for them to seal the deal.

According to Buzzfeed News, the staff at the Hong Kong zoo—which is currently closed due to the pandemic—made the announcement that Ying Ying (female) and Le Le (male) got it on around 9 a.m. Monday morning.

You can watch Ying Ying and Le Le do the bang bang in the clip below.

All we can say is...

surprised oh my GIFGiphy

Others were equally gobsmacked.

Michael Boos, executive director of zoological operation and conservation, expressed enthusiasm for Ying Ying's chance at pregnancy after the 14-year-old pandas previously had unsuccessful attempts.

"Since Ying Ying and Le Le's arrival in Hong Kong in 2007 and attempts at natural mating since 2010, they unfortunately have yet to succeed until this year upon years of trial and learning."
"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."

Zoo staff noticed signs of sexual tension building in March with Ying Ying spending more time in the water as Le Le left scent markings around their habitat.

Boos said that zoo keepers will be monitoring Ying Ying in the hopes that she is expecting.

"If successful, signs of pregnancy, including hormonal level fluctuations and behavioral changes may be observed as early as late June, though there is always a chance that Ying Ying could experience a pseudo-pregnancy."
"We hope to bear wonderful pregnancy news to Hong Kongers this year and make further contributions to the conservation of this vulnerable species."

This is exciting news given that It is rare for two giant pandas to mate naturally while in captivity.

This user pondered whether the lack of any park guests helped set the mood.

Are humans a mood killer?

Le Le shoots...

...he scores!

Panda International said that timing is one of the challenges in getting pandas to copulate.

A female panda has one estrous cycle in a year during the spring. She is fertile for 24 to 36 hours for only 2 out of the 7 day cycle period.

Many captive breeding programs focus on artificial insemination to save the species. The IUCN Red List assessed that giant pandas were no longer endangered.

In April 2016, the species officially became categorized as vulnerable.

We can't wait for news of this:

Until the good news, where are the doughnuts, Le Le?

Have your own panda family with this posable set of 4 Wilder calico bears available here.