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Sex Could Cure This Panda's Strange Habit Of Walking Backwards

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Dami Olonisakin

Editorial Assistant

clockOct 23 2017, 16:28 UTC

Foreverhappy/Shutterstock

Meng Meng the panda has a habit zookeepers in Berlin are trying to snap her out of – walking backwards. The 4-year-old bear, originally from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in southwestern China, will be paired up to mate with Jiao Qing, a 7-year-old panda also from Chengdu.

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Both bears were introduced to Berlin Zoo in July this year. The zoo is reportedly paying China $1 million annually for 15 years to host the animals, according to The Guardian.

The current aim is to get a little bit of love in the air, which will hopefully lead to sex and stop Meng Meng from treading backwards.

Zoo workers believe that the bear could be feeling quite down due to her captive lifestyle. Berlin Zoo director Andreas Knieriem told Berliner Zeitung newspaper that the walk was “a protest against things she dislikes, be it the food or the carers”.

On the day of Meng Meng and Jiao Qing’s arrival in Berlin, zookeeper Christian Toll said in a video, "today is of course a special day – if they didn’t feel at home here it would mean we screwed up".

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The pandas are usually separated from each other unless it's the mating season, which takes place between February and May. “By then, Meng Meng will have reached sexual maturity and could focus all her energy on seducing her partner," said Knieriem. 

The Guardian also reported that any cubs that Meng Meng gives birth to would have to go back to China. 

The bears are one of Berlin Zoo's biggest attractions and can be found in its $10 million Chinese compound. The two animals were originally welcomed to the zoo by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping.


Nature
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  • China,

  • zoo,

  • Berlin,

  • Meng Meng