INDEPENDENCE PART OF “NATURAL PROCESS”
Le Le has been eating, resting and playing on his own, away from Jia Jia.
This is part of a “natural process” that mirrors what happens in the wild, when panda cubs become independent from about 18 to 24 months of age, Mandai added.
“They start displaying signs of being comfortable alone, while the mother pandas also begin to exhibit behavioural changes that lead to the eventual rejection of their cubs.”
As giant pandas are solitary animals, this life stage progression is part of growing up, Mandai said.
“As it is critical to assist the cub and mom safely through the separation, the animal care team has been conditioning Le Le to enter a new private den that is segregated from (his mum’s),” said Mandai, adding that this would empower him to live apart from Jia Jia when the time comes.
Full separation from Jia Jia is expected to occur in the coming months and the process will be closely monitored by the panda care team.
Once separation happens, Jia Jia and Le Le will split their time at their exhibit at the Giant Panda Forest in Mandai’s River Wonders park.
The public will be able to see Le Le from 10am to 2pm and Jia Jia from 2pm to 6pm.