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JiaJia and KaiKai
Photograph: WRS Corp Comms

It's panda mating season at the River Safari

Delfina Utomo
Written by
Delfina Utomo

UPDATE: Mating season is in full swing as our pandas go into a love lockdown. JiaJia and KaiKai are receiving all the medical and professional help they can from the team at Wildlife Reserves Singapore. KaiKai also has unlimited access to videos of pandas, err, getting it on and a personal trainer to build up strength in his hind legs for when its time to do the deed. Well-wishers can leave their messages of encouragement to the pandas at the video link below. Let's hope KaiKai stops getting distracted by food – though we fully understand the feeling. 

The Giant Panda Forest enclosure will be closed for now to give JiaJia and KaiKai their privacy. 

When it's time, it's time. The Singapore River Safari pandas are gearing up for mating season. According to Speaker of the Parliament and also deputy chairman of the Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Tan Chuan Jin in a post on Instagram, JiaJia (that's the female panda) is "about to become fertile" and is looking to get together with her male counterpart KaiKai for some one-on-one time. This is also the sixth time these pandas are trying for a baby. So here's hoping we'll get little panda babies soon cos we all need a bit of good news these days.

In 2015, Kai Kai and entered the mating season for the first time. But despite his best efforts, the natural mating procedure and the artificial insemination method were unsuccessful. This year, the zoo is taking a more natural approach – it's letting the pandas get busy on their own. But it seems that KaiKai is unsure of what to do with his 'equipment' so the team at River Safari is helping him with that. This includes showing KaiKai videos of other pandas mating. Thankfully for KaiKai, the IMDA won't be reviewing his watch history. 

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The world may be enveloped in chaos and worry but what is certain is that in a few weeks JiaJia is about to become fertile and it’s that time of the year again to get KaiKai and JiaJia together to mate! 🐼😬We are going to try the natural approach this year. We swopped their enclosures so that they can pick up the ‘in heat scent’. I was told that KaiKai has had the requisite reactions 💪which means that his equipment should be good to go. But he needs to know how to use it! Apparently KaiKai seems unschooled and not sure what and how to do the necessary. We’d be screening suitable Panda p... I mean... action movies to help him get the idea. I don’t think @imdasg will be reviewing this. Nor have we set aside any @skillsfuturesg Training credits for KaiKai. Jiayou both of you! 👍 As Deputy Chairman @wrs.ig Wildlife Reserves Singapore(WRS), I visited Singapore Zoo and River Safari with our CEO, Mike Barclay and Marcus as well as Sherri. I wanted to meet our colleagues to see how they were and to also see how we have adjusted the ongoing precautionary measures. As you can imagine, the Zoo and our other Wildlife Reserves attractions are badly hit. Visitor numbers have come down dramatically. While it is operated as a private entity, it’s solely owned by Temasek and run very much as a national and public project. Every cent earned is ploughed back into the work at WRS, looking after the animals, conservation work and also education to help Singaporeans better appreciate our wildlife. Your support matters a great deal. 🙏🏻 Our Zoo and River Safari colleagues are just amazing! Although it can seem demoralizing to have so few visitors, they were positive and made sure they provided even better service. They also spend their time cross-posting to learn different skills. Everyone had a cheerful smile on their face. They all knew that the situation will be a long-drawn one but were assured by our commitment to our staff. I also checked on how their families were doing. The COVID-19 crisis affects everyone. It was great to see some Singaporeans visiting the Zoo and River Safari with their families!! @wrs.ig #SGUnited #COVID19_Angels

A post shared by Tan Chuan-Jin (@chuanjin1) on

Tan Chuan Jin also brought up how the current situation has affected various attractions in Singapore including the Zoo and other wildlife reserves in Singapore as he's noticed lesser visitors. Looking at how the zoos around the world have adapted during these times, let's hope Wildlife Reserves Singapore will follow suit and allow those at home to sneak a peek at what's happening at the parks via webcams.

Missing out on the great outdoors? Check out the calming Animal Cam at Sungei Buloh, which lets you view the major spots around the wetlands from the comfort of your home. 

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