The courtship behavior of a male panda in a nature reserve in Gansu province has been captured for the first time on film footage, showing the male panda urinating while doing a handstand.
In the clip, the giant panda pushes his left leg against the tree and starts to urinate on the bark, positioned half-upside down. He then gets down, walks to another tree about 10 meters away, smells it, then repeats the action.
The video was taken in January at the Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve using infrared cameras, but was only recently released. The reserve has been recording the behavior among the pandas, who are seen as reclusive inhabitants of the forest.
According to staff at the reserve, it is a common courtship act for the giant pandas to urinate in a handstand position. The urine contains a special scent that is able to spread further, attracting more potential partners, if the urine is higher up a tree.
Equally, pandas use their urine to mark territory and warn members of the same sex to stay away, which also increases their chances of scoring a lady.
According to Xinhua, the number of wild pandas in Gansu province increased 15 percent to 132 between 2001 and the end of 2014.
By Freya Twigden