Fox News, of all places, is reporting that officials at a zoo in northern Thailand are hoping that “panda porn” will encourage animals in their possession to mate.
Chuang Chuang the panda has been spending his days in front of a big screen television watching panda porn. Authorities at the Chiang Mai Zoo in northern Thailand hope the images will encourage him to mate with his partner, Lin Hui, and serve as an instructional lesson in how to do it right.
So far, it’s been a tough sell, the zoo’s chief veterinarian, Kanika Limtrakul, said Tuesday. “Chuang Chuang seems indifferent to the videos; he has no reaction to what he’s seeing on TV,” Kanika said. “But we’re continuing to show him videos and hoping they will leave an impression.”
Pandas are threatened by loss of habitat, poaching and a low reproduction rate. Females in the wild normally have a cub once every two to three years. There are as few as 1,600 giant pandas in the mountain forests of central China, according to the zoo. An additional 120 are in Chinese breeding facilities and zoos, and about 20 live in zoos outside China.
Zoo officials say Chuang Chuang will be reunited with his partner in about another week. The two pandas have been kept separate since late last year as part of efforts to spark some romance between them.
Many captive animals refused to reproduce. Is this a conscious choice? Or is it, as seems more likely, an unconscious reaction to stress and a strange environment?