(Australian Associated Press)
The pitter patter of tiny paws may be on the cards as Adelaide Zoo’s giant panda Fu Ni has started building a nest for her potential new arrival.
Fu Ni underwent two artificial insemination procedures in October last year and the zoo says she is displaying symptoms of either being pregnant or is experiencing a phantom pregnancy.
“Our dedicated keepers are treating her as though she is pregnant and are doing all they can to support Fu Ni and Wang Wang on their journey to parenthood,” the zoo has posted on its Facebook page.
Fu Ni and male Wang Wang arrived in Adelaide in 2009 and are on loan for 10 years from the Wolong Giant Panda Research Centre in China.
Zoo officials have been keen for the pair to produce offspring with last year’s breeding season the third serious attempt for a panda cub.
The gestation period for a giant panda is between 120 and 150 days with an ultrasound examination the only true way to determine if a panda is pregnant.
But the zoo said Fu Ni was displaying positive signs.
She was given access to her den this week and has begun nest building.
“We’re excited to be closer than ever before to achieving our ultimate goal of welcoming a giant panda cub to Adelaide,” the zoo said.