Mammal

Giant Panda

The WWF’s emblematic animal, the Giant Panda has become the symbol of “Endangered” animals.

There are now only about 1,600 of them left, spread over 64 nature reserves in central China, in the mountains of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu. And there are very few of them in zoos.

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Keyfacts about Giant Panda's

1.600

Individuals in the wild

120 kg

Average Weight

160 days

Gestation Period

Famille

Identity Card

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  • Name: Giant Panda
  • Latin name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca
  • Origin: China
  • IUCN status: Vulnerable
  • Cites: Appendix I
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Parents

  • Xing HuiMaleArrived in February 2014
  • Hao HaoFemaleArrived in February 2014

Kids

  • Tian BaoMâleBorn in June 2016
  • Bao DiMâleBorn in Augustus 2019
  • Bao MeiFemelleBorn in Augustus 2019
Pairi Daiza Foundation

Assist the breeding of giant pandas

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Jella Wauters leads the research project “Metabolomics in the Giant Panda: unraveling the reproductive biology” for the Pairi Daiza Foundation at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University. This study aims to develop a test that will allow scientists worldwide to predict the female panda’s heat period (a few weeks before it begins) based on hormonal markers present in the animal’s urine.

The fertility period of a female Giant Panda occurs only once a year and lasts only one to three days. If fertilization occurs during this short period, the rest of the pregnancy remains a huge mystery. The precise duration of the pregnancy, miscarriages, and/or reasons for absorption of the fetus by the reproductive system in the female Giant Panda are still unknown to date.

The hormonal markers, central to Jella Wauters’ work, can also indicate the precise moment of ovulation and track the progress of one of the most mysterious pregnancies in the animal kingdom, ultimately significantly increasing the chances of reproduction, not only in zoos and breeding centers in China but also in the wild.

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