AFP, published on Friday, December 23, 2022 at 13:07.
A giant panda surprised everyone at a Dutch zoo by turning out to be a female and not a male, as determined when the young animal was sexed in 2020.
The startling discovery sparked general amazement among the team at Ouwehands Zoo in the center of the country after a routine medical examination of the animal, the first giant panda to be born in the Netherlands.
The news was announced on television Thursday night by José Kok, the zoo’s zoological manager.
“Fan Xing surprised us. For us, sex was a fact that we wanted to check during the checkup under anesthesia, just to be sure,” said Ms. Cook, quoted in a zoo statement released after the broadcast.
A few months after her birth, on May 1, 2020, Fan Xing underwent a short medical examination without anesthesia, which had to be performed as soon as possible to reunite the child with her mother.
But determining the gender of a giant panda is a very difficult task, Ms Kok explained, especially in a struggling baby.
“We were so convinced it was a male, so we never doubted it,” she said, still stunned, on the OP1 talk show.
Like all of its male panda companions, the animal has received special training at the zoo to strengthen its hind legs so that it can perform its role as a breeding male in future matings.
“So this female will have strong hind legs,” joked Ms. Chef.
This surprise does not change anything for Fan Xing’s health and his mission, the zoo assured. The animal will soon be sent back to China as planned as part of an international breeding program.
Fan Xing is the result of a natural conception of a pair of giant pandas loaned in 2017 by China to the Netherlands for a period of 15 years.