Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level

NSFW: 50 shades of black and white

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
21 Apr 2015

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level

After two and a half years of being just friends, the River Safari's giant pandas have finally started getting it on.

Kai Kai and Jia Jia, who are notorious for their lack of interest in mating, have been affectionate since early April.

Seven-year-old Kai Kai started bleating and scent-marking more frequently to attract six-year-old Jia Jia. The two bears were also frequently spotted calling out and gazing lovingly to each other through a closed gate linking their exhibit.

On Friday evening (April 17), the pandas were brought together for the first time in their dens for natural mating.

Despite their 40-minute romp, the session did not appear to be successful - which is typical for first-timers - and a decision was made to carry out artificial insemination to increase Jia Jia’s chances of conceiving.

Dr Serena Oh, Assistant Director of Veterinary Services, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), said: “Panda reproduction is a notoriously complex process, with females ovulating once a year, in which they are fertile for only 24 to 36 hours. Jia Jia’s hormones started falling on Friday and we needed to move quickly to artificial insemination due to the short window when female pandas are able to conceive.”

WRS said it will continue to monitor Jia Jia’s hormone levels and conduct ultrasounds to determine if she is pregnant. If successful, we could welcome a cub or two at River Safari in five months’ time.

Click on for more (NSFW) photos of the pandas in the throes of passion.

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
21 Apr 2015

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level

Kai Kai started showing interest in Jia Jia following efforts by keepers and vets in altering exhibit conditions to trigger breeding behaviours.

In early April, the giant pandas were frequently seen peering through the gap in the closed gate linking their exhibits, scent-marking their areas and bleating at each other.

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
21 Apr 2015

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level

The usually shy Jia Jia also showed that she was in heat and even attempted to breach the gate connecting hers and Kai Kai’s exhibit. Woah, get a hold of yourself, lady!

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
21 Apr 2015

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level

Jia Jia was often restless, pacing in the exhibit and rolling on the ground.

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
21 Apr 2015

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level

On April 17, the pandas were brought together for the first time in their dens for natural mating.

Kai Kai curiously sniffed Jia Jia during their first introduction without barriers. Previously, both pandas have never been in close physical contact with each other.

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
21 Apr 2015

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level

A sequence of the duo’s 40-minute "bedroom" antics captured on film. While both pandas were affectionate towards each other, they were inexperienced and did not appear to have mated successfully.

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
21 Apr 2015

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level

The next day, Kai Kai was brought into the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre for a health check, followed by electroejaculation which is a technique commonly used for semen collection.

To ensure a higher chance of conception, the dedicated team of veterinarians and giant panda keepers carried out artificial insemination after an unsuccessful mating session.

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level
21 Apr 2015

Kai Kai & Jia Jia take their relationship to the next level

In an attempt to increase her chances of conceiving, Jia Jia was brought into the Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre for artificial insemination. The vets will monitor Jia Jia for signs of pregnancy in the next few months.

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