German zoo hopes to cure panda’s bad habit with sex

  • Meng Meng, 4, is exhibiting the behaviour in frustration at life in captivity
  • Zookeepers at Berlin’s main animal park are hoping sex will improve her mood
  • She will soon be introduced to Jiao Qing, a male panda three years her senior

James Draper For Mailonline

It is, of course, one of life’s greatest pleasures.

So it’s perhaps not surprising that zookeepers at Berlin’s main animal park are hoping that sex will cure a pubescent female panda’s angst.

According to reports, the four-year-old animal, called Meng Meng, is deliberately walking backwards to display her physical frustrations.

Frustrated: Meng Meng, a female Chinese panda bear, is seen at Berlin’s zoo

To counter this, officials plan to introduce the Chinese-born creature to Jiao Qing, a male panda three years her senior.

Experts hope the romance will neutralize any frustrations associated with life in captivity, which they assume are the root cause.

‘Meng Meng is in puberty,’ Berlin Zoo director Andreas Knieriem told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper on Sunday.

‘The reverse walk is a protest against things she dislikes, be it the food or the carers.’

China lent Meng Meng and Jiao Qing to Germany earlier this year.

High-profile: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, pictured with Meng Meng, officially opened the zoo’s Chinese compound in July

Remedy: Male panda Jiao Qing, who is seven years old, is expected to mate with Meng Meng

The two bears are a major attraction at the zoo’s $10million (£7.5million) Chinese compound, which was inaugurated by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Xi Jinping in July.

Giant pandas in captivity are kept apart except for in the mating season, which occurs between February and May.

‘By then, Meng Meng will have reached sexual maturity and could focus all her energy on seducing her partner,’ Knieriem said.