Panda Feng Yi in the mood; now it's up to her mate
AFTER just days in their new home, female panda Feng Yi is already showing signs that she wants to mate, but her partner Fu Wa is not up for it yet.
Mat Naim Ramli, the zoology and veterinary director at the Malaysia Panda Conservation Centre, said Feng Yi had been continually making mating calls and showing signs that she was ready.
"However, whether they mated or not depended on the male," Dr Mat Naim said.
"Feng Yi wants to mate, but Fu Wa has yet to show interest.
"The problem with Fu Wa is his libido. As Fu Wa was born in captivity, he has to learn how to breed," he said.
"He needs more time and training for this," he told reporters at the newly built centre in Zoo Negara on Friday.
The two giant pandas, housed in the zoo since Wednesday, are on loan to Malaysia for 10 years to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and China.
The pandas, both eight years of age, are being quarantined for a month before they are available for public viewing.
Dr Mat Naim said last year that Fu Wa was placed with females to observe his behaviour in the mating ritual. "He did not know how to do it... He tried but there was no penetration."
He said a female panda is productive for 72 hours a year and this week was Feng Yi's fertility period. "If they do not mate this year, we will try again next year," he added.
On Sunday, the two giant pandas welcomed Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. He later tweeted a photo taken during the visit: "Visited Feng Yi & Fu Wa today. They are here for 10 years to mark the 40th anniversary of our diplomatic ties with China."
The other VIP visitor was Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who confessed that he was "in love" with the pandas.
Posting three photos of the visit on his Twitter account, Mr Hishammuddin wrote: "The animals are so cute. I am in love."
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK