Adult pandas to get privacy -- in anticipation of mating
The female panda is thought to be in season only three days a year -- a factor in the species' dwindling population in the wild. Another factor is that the male and female don't really like each other.
But researchers at the San Diego Zoo think that Bai Yun, 19, the mother of five, is ready for breeding. She and Gao Gao, 20, got together Friday after initially meeting at the "howdy gate" that separates their living quarters.
In hopes of conception, researchers are putting the two off-exhibit this weekend to encourage further mating sessions. The couple's youngest cub, Yun Zi, born in 2009, will be visible at the smaller of the two panda exhibits.
--Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Gao Gao, left, meets Bai Yun at the "howdy gate." Credit: San Diego Zoo