In an attempt to better understand the low libido of zoo dwelling pandas, scientists have studied how to best get a giant panda in the mood. After failed attempts involving panda porn and Viagra, it is now thought that the most effective method of getting pandas to fuck is to simply allow them to choose their own partners.
Usually, pandas in captivity are gifted a mate chosen by scientists based on their genetic profiles to minimize inbreeding and expand the DNA pool, but pandas’ refusal to do the deed has proven problematic. In a study carried out by a team of U.S. and Chinese scientists at the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda in Sichuan province, it was shown that allowing the panda to pick their mate would actually increase their sexual appetite.
The study concluded: “Giant pandas paired with preferred partners have significantly higher copulation and birthrates.”
In the study, male and female pandas were caged in separate enclosures with the opposite sex on the other side. They were allowed physical interaction through the bars. Researchers then measured mate preference behavior, which includes playfulness, bond-forming and sexual arousal. The animals were then introduced to each other for mating, with both preferred and non-preferred partners.
“The highest reproductive performance was seen when both males and females showed mutual preference,” the researchers found. “Mate incompatibility can impede captive breeding programs by reducing reproductive rates. It is therefore surprising that mate preferences have not figured more prominently in captive breeding programs.”
Poor pandas, all this time we’ve been forcing them to have sex for us, not for them. This is yet another groundbreaking bit of research provided to us by tireless panda researchers.
By Mary DeMay
[Images via Deviant Art]