Helping Nature Along: Breeding Giant Pandas
Photo: Smithsonian's National Zoo
2012 Artificial Insemination
Li Desheng and Pierre Comizzoli perform an artificial insemination on giant panda Mei Xiang at the National Zoo in April 2012.
The National Zoo team inseminated Mei Xiang with collected semen from Tian Tian, frozen in 2005. This sample was the same one used in 2005 that led to the pregnancy and birth of Tai Shan.
Female pandas have an extremely short window in which they can get pregnant. They ovulate only once a year.