National Zoo plans to breed pandas living across oceans in US, China for 1st time


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WASHINGTON — Scientists at the National Zoo have traveled around the world to prepare for this year's giant panda breeding season.

The zoo says a scientist arrived back in Washington on Monday night with frozen panda semen from a giant panda base in China. The zoo is planning an artificial insemination on the female giant panda Mei Xiang (may-SHONG). Mei Xiang is expected to go into estrus soon.

This is the first time frozen semen has been transported from China for breeding at the National Zoo. The sample comes from a male panda named Hui Hui (h-WEI h-WEI).

Researchers decided a cub sired by Hui Hui would be more genetically valuable than a cub sired by the National Zoo's male Tian Tian (t-YEN t-YEN). Hui Hui has not yet sired any cubs.

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