Drugs and porn don't work, pandas just need a little motherly love
Researchers have tried just about everything from Viagra to panda porn (we wish we were kidding about the latter) to get China’s iconic giant pandas into the mood to continue their species. But to date, they’ve met with some pretty lackadaisical libidos.
Chinese scientists might have made a critical breakthrough though in their efforts to save the giant panda, and thankfully it doesn’t involve water beds.
The success of the new program, which was spearheaded by the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center in China, according to a BBC report, has allowed scientists to raise 300 of the bears in captivity, a number that will allow them to reintroduce the animals to the wild for the first time in 15 years.
The new technique focuses on the survival rate of cubs once pandas have given birth rather than the love-lust of the bears. The technique is called "twin swapping.”
More than half of giant pandas give birth to two cubs at a time but can only care for one, meaning one cub is left to fend for itself.
Instead of relying on the mother, the Chengdu center is now take on the cub, putting it into an incubator and then finding another panda mother who isn't currently caring for a cub and tricking the animal into raising the panda cub as its own.
According to the BBC, the survival rate of Chinese panda cubs rose to 98 percent through this combination of maternal care and artificial support.
With the goal of 300 pandas achieved, re-introduction into the wild is now a serious possibility, and construction on China’s first dedicated panda reintroduction facility has begun.