Because captive pandas don't go through the same rigors of their wild counterparts, continually searching for food while climbing mountains and all of the obstacles that come with mountain life on a regular basis, the scientist at the research bases have developed exercises to help captive pandas maintain strength in areas that are needed for successful natural breeding. One such exercise helps the males maintain strength in their hind legs.
This video was just released showing 8 year old Yong Yong taking part in one of these exercises at the Chengdu Panda Base.
By: ABC15.com staff CHENGDU, CHINA - New video from China gives us a glimpse into what it takes to get giant pandas ready for mating season. The males underwent physical training on Wednesday in order to build up their strength for future mating at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
One of the male pandas in training, Yong Yong, just finished mating in April and is already in training for next year. Keepers demonstrated one of the exercises, in which food is attached to the end of a long pole with string, enticing Yong Yong to stand up and catch the food and exercising the muscles of his hind legs. The keeper explained that the power of the hind legs is very helpful to the panda's mating and added that domesticated male pandas are often not as muscular as their counterparts in the wild.
The nearly 8-year-old Yong Yong successfully mated with female panda Yuan Yuan in April and is now starting his new round of physical training in order to get ready for next year's breeding season.