An unhappy soap opera has been under way at the San Diego Zoo, where relations between two giant pandas have not progressed as zookeepers had hoped. Reporter Maria Velazquez of CBS News affiliate KFMB-TV in San Diego has the story.
The female panda, Bai Yun, did everything to seduce Shi Shi into having a baby. But even as she rolled around, suggestively fluffing her hair, she was racing against time. Female pandas are fertile once a year for a 24- to 48-hour period.
And guess what happened? Nothing.
"...It was quite clear that we're in the same situation as in the previous two years: no natural mating," said panda team leader Dr. Don Lindburg.
So over the weekend, Bai Yun -- on loan from a China zoo -- was artificially inseminated with Shi Shi's sperm.
"We did this on three successive evenings," Dr. Lindburg said. "The theory being the longer that you have viable sperm in the reproductive track, the greater the chances that you'll cover the time when the female can be fertilized."
It will take months before zoo scientists know whether Bai Yun is pregnant and if not, here is what one woman thought should happen.
"Leave him," a zoo visitor advised. "Go for a new guy.
I mean, you know?"
One male observer suggested that the chemistry just wasn't right for Shi Shi.
"Maybe she wasn't good looking enough to him. Her color is a little off, whatever," he said.
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