News from the zoo this week is that there is a very tentative maybe that Fu Ni is pregnant. She's been showing signs of nesting, which could be the symptoms of a pseudo-pregnancy or she could actually be really and truly pregnant.
It's hard to know with pandas. A panda pregnancy is never 100% confirmed until approximately 2 weeks before the birth. That's a lot of nail biting and jittery foot twitching. Oh, if only we could pop down to the chemist and grab her a pregnancy test kit!
There have been 2 previous artificial insemination attempts and all eyes are on her to see what develops from this latest procedure, which was done in October.
So, while giving her a bit of privacy and playing the waiting game, the zoo keepers are treating Fu Ni as though she is pregnant and are keeping everything crossed that a baby panda appears soon. Regular ultrasounds are performed, but a baby will only appear in the scans when the birth is imminent.
Wang Wang and Fu Ni are the only Giant Pandas in the Southern Hemisphere.
Wang Wang (Net Net) was born in 2005 and Fu Ni (Lucky Girl) in 2006 and came to the Adelaide Zoo as a breeding pair in November 2009. Wang Wang and Fu Ni are part of the International Giant Panda conservation research and breeding program - the aim of which is the preservation of this vulnerable species. Maybe it will be three times lucky for the pair and we'll expect the news soon that she's expecting?
The Giant Panda is under threat of extinction. The species is considered a national treasure in China and has been used as the animal on the logo of the World Wildlife Fund since its inception in 1961.
There are as few as 1,800 pandas still roaming wild in the mountains and forests of China and there are more than 300 in breeding zoos around the world.
It's an anxious wait for everyone involved. So, before we all rush out and buy celebratory cigars, why not plan a visit to the zoo, drop in on the pandas and give them your positive vibes. The zoo is a great day out for the whole family and your visit will help save the pandas from extinction.