Thursday, March 04, 2004
Young Love in China
Single Chinese Panda on Prowl for Mate
Wed Mar 3,11:20 PM ET
BEIJING - Wanted: single, full-figured black-and-white female for committed relationship. Must be willing to tolerate her man's heavy eating and deep sleeping. Call the Shanghai Wild Animal Park.
Guo Qing, the park's only fertile giant panda, is on the prowl for a mate.
Park officials announced Wednesday that 5-year-old Guo Qing, one of three giant pandas living at the zoo, is "looking for a lifelong partner," according to the official Xinhua News Agency. It said he is in his "reproductive prime."
The other two pandas, Chuan Chuan and Jia Si, are more than 20 years old and probably past any chance of reproducing, Xinhua said.
The 265-pound Guo Qing was born in China's famed Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in 1999. He moved to Shanghai when he was 2.
"He eats a lot, sleeps well and is so energetic that he often climbs to the top of a tree about 15 feet tall," said Sun Qiang, who has cared for Guo Qing since he moved to Shanghai. "We will take good care of the couple and try our best to make the female feel at home here."
The giant panda is one of the most endangered species in the world. Only about 1,000 are estimated to live in the wild, all in China. More than 140 live in captivity around the world.
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