Love is in the air: Giant panda breeding season almost here

WASHINGTON — It may not reach the amorous levels of “Romeo and Juliet,” but Smithsonian National Zoo giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang appear to be gearing up for some hanky panky.

According to a news release, Tian Tian is acting restless and lovelorn.

“He sometimes watches Mei Xiang though the window between their yards and bleats at her,” the release said.

The male panda’s affections will have to remain unrequited for now, however.

Female Mei Xiang is apparently responding to Tian Tian’s calls by moaning a “vocalization that indicates she is not interested in him just yet.”

Sure, it hurts to be shot down, but when she’s interested, she’ll chirp at him and nature will take its course — with the guidance of Smithsonian Zoo staff.

They’re planning on modifications to Mei Xiang’s den — such as removing a platform and extending bars to the floor — so they can safely enter to check on her and a future cub.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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