| CHIANG MAI, Thailand
CHIANG MAI, Thailand (Reuters Life!) - Pity the panda. Ever since Chuang Chuang got "married" two years ago, his sex life has become a matter of public concern. Zookeepers have put him on a diet to avoid crushing his partner and have made him watch "panda porn" to get him in the mood.
This week, Chuang Chuang got another installment of suggestive videos after being trained to appreciate them.
"We trained him to see footage and to listen to the sound for 15 minutes a day, and we've shown him the footage for a week now," said Sophon Dumnui, head of the state zoo body that looks after the Chiang Mai zoo in northern Thailand.
"He's learned a little bit, but hasn't yet fully understood. When he heard the sound he showed some interest. We will train him for one more week," Sophon added.
Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui have been at the Chiang Mai zoo since 2003 and were officially "married" two years ago. However, they have shown little inclination to consummate their union.
They have been kept in separate enclosures since December in hope it will make them lust after each other.
In January, the zoo put Chuang Chuang on a diet, reducing the amount of snacks and bamboo shoots he gets.
China used the video technique with its pandas and succeeded in producing a new cub.
According to zoo officials Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui are healthy and ready to mate. The zoo's previous attempts to help them mate early last year failed.
The panda pair are a major draw at the zoo, which makes paper souvenirs out of their dung.
The animals, lent to Thailand by China, were "married" in November 2005 at a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony overseen by a Chinese diplomat to mark the zoo's 28th birthday.
Chuang Chuang would have to learn the trick from the video within the next 10 days while panda keepers would have to take close check on Lin Hui to see when she was ready to mate, said project chief Prasertsak Prasertsak Boontragulpoontawee.
"If Chuang Chuang can't do it naturally, we will have to do artificial insemination on Lin Hui. Otherwise we have to wait until next year when her next round of eggs come," Prasertsak told Reuters.