Panda Updates- Monday, August 1
The Panda Care Team is often asked why Lun Lun and Yang Yang are retired from breeding, especially since Lun Lun continues to experience an estrus cycle and pseudopregnancy. Well, quite simply, because of their age. If they were living in the wild, it is unlikely that Lun Lun and Yang Yang would still be alive, much less still breeding and rearing cubs. At nearly 25 years old, Yang Yang and Lun Lun are considered geriatric. In the wild, giant pandas can live into their mid-teens, up to possibly 20 years. Though they tend to live longer in human care – into their 30s – we have to consider their quality of life and well-being, not just the fact that they can biologically still produce offspring. Lun Lun has given birth to and reared seven cubs and has done more than her fair share of adding individuals and genetic diversity to the giant panda population. Yang Yang’s and Lun Lun’s offspring are producing cubs of their own now as well. We believe that means Lun Lun and Yang Yang should have a quiet, much-deserved, retirement life.
(photo: Heather R.)
Senior Keeper, Carnivores