China announced First Successful Birth of a Panda Cub from Frozen Sperm (July 14, 2009) — China announced the first successful birth of a panda cub from artificial insemination using frozen sperm, giving a new option for the famously unfertile endangered species.

pandaPanda researchers said they carried out the artificial insemination in March, and You You (pronounced Yo Yo) was found to be pregnant in June. Female panda You You gave birth to the new cub Thursday morning at the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in southwestern Sichuan. It is You You’s third baby, and the 10th panda cub born at Wolong this year.

Artificial insemination is commonly used for breeding pandas, which have a very low sex drive. In 2006, 34 pandas were born through artificial insemination in China and 30 survived. The technique has also been used at zoos in the United States. However, using panda sperm that has been frozen earlier – instead of from an immediate donor – had not been successful before.

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