Monday, January 15, 2007

Fighting panda extinction

The evolutionary dead-enders known as pandas are getting some more help in Memphis ("Zoo again tries to inseminate panda"):
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Workers at the Memphis Zoo tried for a second time Monday to artificially inseminate a young female panda after she and a male companion failed at mating the old fashioned way.

And, why were the Memphis pandas so unsuccessful? Oh, yeah, because:

Panda's [sic] are notoriously poor breeders — a main reason their species is endangered — and females have only three days a year in which they can conceive. It's also hard figure out if they're pregnant or not.

Females go through a period of pseudo-pregnancy after their reproductive periods end, and a pregnancy cannot be confirmed until a few days before birth. [emphases added]

They sure like to make it hard on all the well-meaning humans that are trying to help them.

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