A two-year-old giant panda in a Dutch zoo has sparked controversy when it turns out to be a female instead of the male it was originally thought to be.
The discovery at Ouwehands Zoo was made during a routine checkup for Fan Xing, the first giant panda born in the Netherlands.
Zoo officials confirmed the news on national television late Thursday.
In a statement released by the zoo after the broadcast interview, Jose Kok said, “Fan Xing surprised us.
“For us, sex was just a fact we wanted to confirm during the examination under anesthesia.”
Pandas underwent a brief medical examination a few months after they were born. This should be done quickly so that the baby can be reunited with its mother.
But Kok said it’s difficult to determine the sex of young babies who aren’t under anesthesia.
“We were pretty sure the baby was male, so there was no doubt,” she said.
Huang Xin was born on May 1 to two giant pandas, mother Wu Wen and father Xing Ya, who were loaned from China to the Netherlands for 15 years in 2017.
Her name was revealed in October. “Fan” is from the Chinese name of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, and “Star” means star from Van Gogh’s famous painting “Starry Night”.
She will soon be sent back to China as planned as part of an international breeding program.
The giant panda was removed from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species in 2016.
https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/male-panda-at-dutch-zoo-turns-out-to-be-female-460053/ Male panda turns out to be female at Dutch zoo