In a recent surprise discovery, a male panda at a Dutch zoo has been found to actually be female. The revelation has stunned zookeepers and animal lovers alike, who had assumed the panda, named Xing Bao, was male.
The discovery was made when Xing Bao was undergoing a routine health check at the Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, Netherlands. After an examination of the panda’s reproductive organs, experts determined that Xing Bao was, in fact, a female.
The zoo’s director, Edwin Koopman, said the news came as a shock. “We have had Xing Bao for six years and have always assumed that he was male,” he said. “It was when we did the health check that we realized he was actually a she.”
Koopman added that this was not an unusual occurrence. He said that pandas, like many other species, can be difficult to have sex with. This is because the external genitalia of the male and female pandas is so similar. He said that experts often rely on ultrasound or hormone tests to determine the sex of a panda.
The news of Xing Bao’s true identity has delighted visitors to the zoo. Many of them were surprised to learn that the panda they had been watching was actually a female. The zoo has taken the opportunity to educate visitors on the difficulty of sexing pandas and the importance of making sure that the correct sex is determined.
Xing Bao is not the only panda to surprise zookeepers with her true identity. In 2017, a female panda at a zoo in Japan was revealed to be a male after a routine health check. The zoo had thought the panda, named Shin Shin, was a female for 13 years.
The discovery of Xing Bao’s true identity has highlighted the need for accurate sexing of pandas to ensure the accuracy of population counts and breeding programs. Pandas are an endangered species, with fewer than 2,000 pandas living in the wild. As such, it is important to make sure that their numbers are properly monitored and managed.
Xing Bao will continue to live at the Ouwehands Zoo, where she will be managed as a female panda. The zoo has said that they will now be more cautious when it comes to the sexing of pandas and that they are taking extra steps to ensure accuracy.
The news of Xing Bao’s true identity has been met with delight by animal lovers around the world. The story has gone viral on social media, with many people expressing their amazement at the discovery.
No matter what her sex, Xing Bao will remain a beloved member of the zoo. Her story has highlighted the need for accurate sexing of pandas and has shown that, sometimes, even experts can be surprised by the true identity of their animals.