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Keywords:

  • giant panda;
  • artificial insemination;
  • electroejaculation;
  • behavioral estrus;
  • pregnancy

Abstract

Successful breeding of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) following artificial insemination was achieved at the Ueno Zoo in 2 consecutive years (1985 and 1986). The first cub, born in June 1985, unfortunately died 43 hours after birth from being crushed by the mother panda; the second cub, born in June 1986, has been growing in good health. Electroejaculation and artificial insemination procedures were performed after immobilization with diazepam (0.1 mg/kg) and ketamine HCL (4.0–5.0 mg/kg). Semen of the male panda was collected by electroejaculation using a rectal probe with a diameter of 2.0 cm and with eight rings as electrodes. Stimulation of the male was given with 3 V (30–40 mA) over a 5-sec period with 5-sec intervals. The female panda exhibited estrus between late February and early March in 1985 and also between mid-january and early February 1986. Increased excretion of urinary total estrogen showed coincidentally at maximum behavioral estrus, and a gradual rise of pregnanediol level was followed by artificial insemination. The gestational length for the first pregnancy was 110 days and that of the second 121 days.