Hangzhou Zoo in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, has announced the separation of two giant pandas, Chun Sheng and Xiang Guo, in an effort to prevent potential injuries resulting from their rough play.
Chun Sheng, a male panda born in March 2020, and Xiang Guo, a female panda born in July 2020, arrived at Hangzhou Zoo from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on Aug 9.
While both pandas have exhibited stable overall health conditions over the past month, including healthy eating, regular bowel movements, and high spirits, their frequent play and interactions have raised concerns among zoo authorities.
To ensure the safety and well-being of the pandas, the decision was made to separate them into distinct enclosures, effective from Wednesday. The visiting hours for the public will remain unchanged, as confirmed by the zoo in its announcement.
Hangzhou Zoo's deputy chief of animal management, Lou Yi, explained that the separation was deemed necessary due to the playful nature of the pandas, which posed an increased risk of accidental harm to one another despite their young age.
Giant pandas are typically solitary animals, with the exception of the mating season when they come together. In captivity, panda cubs are often raised in groups due to their less-developed territorial consciousness.
However, once they reach three years of age, practical considerations lead to gradual separations. Pandas aged five and above are usually housed separately.
During this period of separation, the zoo's animal management team will closely monitor both pandas to ensure their continued health and happiness.
Visitors can still observe Chun Sheng and Xiang Guo in designated exhibition areas.