Pandas Mate At Tokyo Zoo

Pandas mate at Tokyo zoo

Tokyo's Ueno Zoo has announced that a pair of giant pandas have mated for the first time in four years.

The zoo confirmed that the male Ri Ri and the female Shin Shin mated around 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Their previous mating produced the female offspring Xiang Xiang, which has drawn many visitors to the zoo.

Shin Shin started to show signs of being ready to mate in late February. Zookeepers allowed the two to meet over a fence on Saturday afternoon. After Shin Shin appeared receptive, zookeepers put them together.

There are only a handful of days in a year when female giant pandas are likely to conceive. Zoo officials say they will continue observing Shin Shin and Rin Rin as they look for the next opportunity.

The officials say they hope that breeding efforts will be a success.

Experts are usually invited from China to give advice during the animal's breeding season, but the coronavirus pandemic made that impossible this time. Zookeepers are instead keeping in contact with them through videos and other means.