The First Giant Panda Cub Ever Concieved by Artificial Insemination

The reproduction of giant pandas in captivity has always been a big problem. There were three main difficulties in reproduction, that is, low mating rate, low conception rate, and low survival rate. In the 50 years from 1937 to 1990, there were more than 200 giant pandas raised in captivity by zoos around the world. Among them, only 11 males have the ability to court and mate; females have less than 30% of their litters; Only one-third of the cubs survived over half a year old. Researchers have stepped up research on artificial insemination techniques for giant pandas to increase the chance of panda pregnancy. And they want to save this beautiful creature by artificial insemination. Therefore, Beijing Zoo used artificial insemination to breed pandas in 1978.

Because giant pandas are very rare, to be on the safe side, researchers have conducted some preliminary experiments with foxes, black bears, wolves, Guangxi monkeys and emerald monkeys. The stimulus index that causes ejaculation is determined through experiments, and the problem of dilution and preservation of semen is solved at the same time. The semen of giant pandas preserved at ultra-low temperature (-196 ℃) between May and June of 1978 still maintained a survival rate of 30%-45% at the time of deposit until May 1980. The female panda “Juan Juan" that received artificial insemination gave birth to two cubs on September 8, 1978, and one of the cub was took care by keeper, (weight 125 grams) died 64 hours after delivery. The other is named “Yuan Jing", which means "the first crystal star" to commemorate the first successful artificial insemination of a giant panda.

After the giant panda artificial insemination technology was successful in the Beijing Zoo, it has been successful in the CCRCGP, Ueno Zoo, Madrid Zoo and Chengdu Zoo, making important contributions to the reproduction of giant pandas.