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Porn for Pandas!

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“The males often prefer eating to mating.”

Apparently, giant panda dudes (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in captivity would rather sit around and munch on bamboo than get it on with the females. And this is a problem at the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre, where scientists are urging the pandas to breed, for conservation purposes.

What’s the answer to this important problem? Panda porn, of course!

Pandas are known to be isolated creatures and poor breeders, and in captivity the problem may be exacerbated. Zhihe and his team have tried a number of measures to try to cure the male panda of his woefully low libido — including showing videos of fellow pandas making love.

In the privacy of their own cages, captive male pandas watch the sights and sounds of love-making on TV. Hopefully, Zhihe says, they’ll be aroused.

“We’re sure the sound of the video will stimulate the panda and the males’ interest,” Zhihe said. Along with watching porn, pandas are doing “sexercises,” or specialized exercises to strengthen the males’ hind legs and increase their stamina.

Scientists have found that the combination of porn, exercises, and the occasional menage a trois — to get young male pandas curious about sex — have proved successful.

Zhihe says that more than 60 percent of his pandas are now capable of having sex on their own — up from just 25 percent twenty years ago.

Information from ABC News

Jason G. Goldman About the Author: Dr. Jason G. Goldman received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Southern California, where he studied the evolutionary and developmental origins of the mind in humans and non-human animals. Jason is also an editor at ScienceSeeker and Editor of Open Lab 2010. He lives in Los Angeles, CA. Follow on . Follow on Twitter @jgold85.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. Noel - Tricycles For Adults 12:00 am 07/6/2010

    Now I know panda is the most luckiest animal in the world. Enjoying such a pamper.

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  2. 2. Mike Lisieski 1:34 am 07/6/2010

    I totally agree with Noel – that sounds like quite a life.

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  3. 3. Escherichia coli 1:48 pm 07/6/2010

    Hmm.. Why is it just the “sound of the video” that will arouse them? Are they visually impaired?

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  4. 4. CS Shelton 6:46 pm 07/7/2010

    Yeah, tempting fate much, Goldman?
    In a related but less controversial vein, a common thought from pundits and comedians is that pandas really aren’t helping their cause by being such apathetic maters (usually phrased more coarsely).
    That always made sense to me, until I saw a video recently (was it an old Douglas Adams thing on the kakapo, posted on Youtube? don’t recall) which mentioned the role natural selection would play in making some species less fecund than others. At which point, the pandas start to look quite reasonable. As large animals without many natural predators, overpopulation is a risk they managed by becoming crappy lovers.
    So now I’m back to humans getting all the blame for the panda’s potential extinction from the wild… No more blaming it on their own laziness.

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  5. 5. How To Annoy The Zoo And Your Elected Officials Before Breakfast | eggton 7:55 pm 03/13/2012

    [...] a captive male panda is too stressed to get it on with a lady panda:     3 out of [...]

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