Qizai is a nine-year-old Quinling panda born with a genetic anomaly living at the Foping Nature Reserve in the Shaanxi province.
He was abandoned by his mother at two-years-old and is the only known living brown giant panda in captivity. Qizai is under the care of researchers who are desperately trying to help him produce offspring.
But the first attempt of having him mate with a female panda twice his age didn't go so well.
This is Qizai, and he is the only brown panda in the world... https://t.co/239gChcDjo— I_love_nature (@I_love_nature)1535801409.0
@sexually @i_iove_nature Not false. He exists. His fur is that colour because of a genetic mutation. He was abandon… https://t.co/B70tbBjsYn— Astrid Smithies (@Astrid Smithies)1535817330.0
According to Global Times, researchers at the Qinling Giant Panda Breeding facility selected 18-year-old Zhuzhu, who gave birth to four cubs in 2008, 2009, 2013, and 2017, to copulate with Qizai.
The pair was placed in adjoined enclosures in June when Zhuzhu went into heat. The Shanghai List noted that female pandas go into heat during a window between 12 to 25 days once a year, so the handlers hoped to spark some chemistry between the two by taking advantage of the limited time frame.
The pandas got on well after spending time together, but researchers didn't get the physical interaction they were hoping for.
Qizai remains a virgin.
"The two pandas tried several times but eventually failed to copulate," an animal handler told the Global Times.
#ICYMI Watch: World's only brown giant #panda fails on first try to naturally reproduce https://t.co/IPVTFqeYEg— CGTN (@CGTN)1535817601.0
Female giant pandas are receptive to mating within 24 to 36 hours. However, since the two failed to copulate, researchers resorted to artificially inseminating Zhuzhu from Quizai's semen, which was collected for artificial breeding in 2017.
As of this writing, the team is still waiting on results.
@HaidiLun He has to wait a year for another shot! No way! Ha ha!— John Clarke (@John Clarke)1535771600.0
The cub may not have scored points with the lady, but people fell in love with Qizai.
@welcomet0nature That's 'Beautiful' sat right there!😍— GrasseCDA (@GrasseCDA)1535733436.0
@welcomet0nature He is perfect!— Marilyn Hadley (@Marilyn Hadley)1535724893.0
@welcomet0nature He’s adorable— Michelle White (@Michelle White)1535805777.0
@earthescope Protect him at all cost!— Pablo | Erecahr (@Pablo | Erecahr)1491188854.0
@NBharuka @racorsino_rose He can come live with me. No problem.— RacingStableGenius (@RacingStableGenius)1482556697.0
Qizai also got some empathy for his virgin status.
Don't do anything you don't want to do, Qizai. https://t.co/MjnaINNBGf https://t.co/Q8aoT9AFWd— Arez Zerah (@Arez Zerah)1536012223.0
It's okay, Qizai 🤗 https://t.co/lzMCfnXwUX via @9GAG— Rica Mae Ramos (@Rica Mae Ramos)1536042200.0
Giant pandas are known to be the most endangered species in the world. To complicate matters further, unsuccessful breeding among them is unfortunately all too common.
Saving giant pandas from extinction is completely dependent on human conservation efforts, but according to Telegraph, mating them in captivity often end in failure.
The Shanghai List reported that researchers inseminated four other pandas using Qizai's sperm, but no offspring have been produced.