SINGAPORE: The River Safari's Giant Panda Forest will be closed from Apr 13 as Kai Kai and Jia Jia gear up for their second shot at having an offspring.
Channel NewsAsia understands that the closure will tentatively last for three days.
A spokesperson clarified on Thursday (Apr 14) that the exhibit is expected to reopen on Friday morning.
WRS' vets and keepers have been observing both pandas and monitoring Jia Jia's hormone levels to determine when they will be ready for mating season, it said in a press release last month.
Female panda Jia Jia at the River Safari. (Photo: Yeo Kai Ting)
Both pandas entered mating season for the first time last April, but both natural mating and artificial insemination proved unsuccessful.
In preparation for this year, WRS said its vets and keepers employed techniques proven to be successful in other zoos. These included getting Kai Kai to perform exercises in his den to improve his stamina, which would help improve success rates during mating.
Other techniques included getting Kai Kai and Jia Jia to swap exhibits and dens, as smelling the scent of another gender stimulates their mating instincts and encourages hormonal changes, WRS said.
Should natural mating be unsuccessful again this time around, vets have already collected Kai Kai's semen for artificial insemination to increase the chances of breeding, WRS said.