Leibniz IZW welcomes Berlin panda bears

Author: Zoo Berlin
Author: Zoo Berlin

Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz IZW) support the Berlin Zoo in their future panda breeding programme.

(Berlin, July 5th, 2017) Finally, Germany has panda bears again. Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Chinese president Xi Jinping and the Directorate of the Leibniz IZW are amongst the invited guests at the official welcome event.

„We are delighted to support our partner, the Berlin Zoo, in the reproduction programme and health monitoring of pandas in the future. This is a further substantial step in the sustainable collaboration with a leading zoological institution,” explains Heribert Hofer, Director of the Leibniz IZW.

Panda bears are a worldwide rarity. The Chinese colleagues from Chengdu decide who may keep pandas and who may not. A research component focusing on conservation is required in addition to a financial contribution to the Chinese panda species conservation programme. Only institutions who can provide this comprehensive package get on the shortlist to keep pandas as a loan from China. “Owing to our longstanding experiences in reproduction medicine we are the ideal partner for the Berlin Zoo and the Chinese panda breeding programme,” says Thomas Hildebrandt, Head of the Department of Reproduction Management at the Leibniz IZW.

The two Chinese giant pandas „Meng Meng” (Little dream) and “Jiao Qing” (Darling) come from the main breeding station “Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding“ in Chengdu in the province Sichuan in China. The giant pandas will stay in Berlin for 15 years. During this time, Andreas Knieriem, Director of the Berlin Zoo, would be pleased to have panda offspring. “To let this hope come true we will contribute our expertise especially in hormone analysis and gestation determination to the panda reproduction programme,” explains Katarina Jewgenow, Deputy Director of the Leibniz IZW and Head of the Department of Reproduction Biology.

The Leibniz IZW scientists have a longstanding experience in working with pandas in Europe and worldwide. They already worked with Bao Bao and YanYan from the Berlin Zoo as well as with Tian Tian  and Yang Guang from the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland.

Author: Zoo Berlin: http://www.izw-berlin.de/files/images/press_releases/Panda_web.jpg