Kai Kai and Jia Jia’s first baby was born at 7.50 am on 14 August 2021, it is also the day of Chinese Valentine’s Day!
“In July, ultrasound scans showed a thickening of Jia Jia’s cervix and some fluid in the uterine horns. We stayed hopeful for Jia Jia, while maintaining her ultrasound checks to monitor developments,” shared Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS)’s Deputy CEO and Chief Life Sciences Officer.
“Female giant pandas display pseudopregnancy, exhibiting all the hormonal and behavioural signs of pregnancy even when they are not expecting. The only sure way of confirming a pregnancy is the visualisation of a foetus near to term. This happened for us (on 10 August) when our vet picked up, on ultrasound, not only a clear outline of a foetus but one with a strong heartbeat!” explained Dr Cheng.
In April this year, 13-year-old Kai Kai and 12-year-old Jia Jia displayed signs of being in heat. It is their official entering their seventh breeding season. To make the most of the once-a-year breeding season, CCRCGP experts advised WRS’s vets to perform artificial insemination before the end of the receptive period. The procedure was carried out by the in-house veterinary team at WRS Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre, using frozen semen collected from Kai Kai before the mating season.
Now the dream had come true! Jia Jia not only succeeded in getting pregnant but also gave birth to a very healthy cute baby. The work continues now in supporting the first-time mother to help raise her newborn.
Congratulations to the new parents and their animal care team! Can’t wait to see the little one!
A Chinese version of the article appeared here.