ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta’s zoo is hoping to once again hear the pitter patter of baby panda paws.
Zoo Atlanta said in a news release Tuesday that a veterinary team performed an artificial insemination on 18-year-old giant panda Lun Lun.
The zoo says female giant pandas are fertile for just two to three days a year. The veterinary team acted on Monday when hormonal and behavioral signs suggested Lun Lun had entered that brief window of fertility.
Lun Lun and male panda Yang Yang have never mated naturally in their 17 years together. All five of their offspring have resulted from artificial insemination.
The pair’s first three cubs live at China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Twins Mei Lun and Mei Huan were born in 2013 and live at Zoo Atlanta.