A male panda in a park of Thailand has
been put on a diet because he is too heavy to mate with his partner, his
Chuang Chuang weighs 150 kilos (330 pounds), while his partner Lin Hui
is a lithe 115 kilos (253 pounds), said Kannika Nimtragol, a veterinarian
at the Chiang Mai zoo in northern Thailand.
"We think Chuang Chuang should not weigh over 140 kilogrammes.
Otherwise Lin Hui will carry too much weight while mating," she told
To help Chuang Chuang slim
down, zookeepers are feeding him fewer bread loaves and
more bamboo branches to cut back on the amount of carbohydrate he
consumes, she added.
The diet program is under the careful supervision of Chinese panda
experts. Six-year-old Chuang Chuang and his five-year-old partner Lin Hui
arrived at the zoo in 2003 on a 10-year loan from China.
Giant pandas, notorious for their low sex drive, are among the world's
most endangered animals.
Cutting out carbs is only the latest tactic used by the zoo in the hope
of giving Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui a more loving feeling.
The two have been separated since December, in the hope absence will
make their hearts grow fonder, Kannika said.
A plan to show them "panda porn" videos to coach them in mating
techniques has been put on
hold after research indicated that not all pandas learn
from such videos.
Chiang Mai held an elaborate, traditional Chinese wedding for the
couple in 2005 in the hope of encouraging them to procreate, and is
considering bringing in a snow machine to help recreate a mountainous
But with the annual panda mating season due to begin within weeks, the
zoo is preparing to try artificial
insemination if the natural method does not work, Kannika