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Adelaide Zoo celebrates giant panda Fu Ni’s ninth birthday

Adelaide Zoo celebrates giant panda Fu Ni’s ninth birthday
August 24, 2015

Staff at the Adelaide Zoo held a birthday party for giant panda Fu Ni's ninth birthday yesterday (23rd August) and with the breeding season approaching are hoping that their star attraction Fu Ni will soon reproduce.

Fu Ni arrived at Adelaide Zoo in 2009, accompanying her slightly older male companion Wang Wang who turns 10 next week.

But the pair have so far failed to breed, despite much attention and care given around the female panda's 36-hour annual fertility window.

With the annual mating season approaching, panda keeper Monika Lapka said this year would be the best chance yet for the pair.

Lapka told the the ABC "hopefully, she'll repay us with a baby.

"Some time over the next month we will definitely be naturally breeding them and potentially artificially inseminating her."

Lapka said Wang Wang had so far failed to impress Fu Ni, but that might change now that he was reaching maturity.

She added "in the wild, the male needs to prove that he is dominant, so we're really waiting on Wang Wang.

"Fu Ni is quite a strong personality; she's quite a full-on personality and quite dominant herself, so it's going to be quite a feat for him to become dominant.

"She will definitely play hard to get. We've seen that in the past."

Yesterday saw Fu Ni treated to a giant birthday card and extra helpings of some of her favourite foods.

Lapka concluded "she got panda cake, which is made mostly of mulched up bamboo with some sugar and some eggs and some flour and some minerals as well."

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