Giant panda sex secrets revealed

The giant panda's courtship and mating sequence - from boisterous beginning to noisy ending - has been filmed in the wild for what may be a TV first.

A BBC Natural History team recorded the magic moments deep in the bamboo forest that lines China's Qinling mountains. "I liken it to Chewbaccas in a pub brawl," explained Gavin Maxwell, the producer of Wild China.

This is not the first time panda sex has been filmed in the wild, but it is thought to be one of the most complete courtship sequences ever caught on camera.

Mr Maxwell described the venture as an eye-opener - to see pandas in a context that is far removed from the shy, placid reputation we traditionally associate with the animals.

"Occasionally, you will be sitting there quietly trying to keep in the background and the males will suddenly come charging out of the bamboo towards you," he explained.

Wild China is the BBC's first ever co-production with Chinese state television.


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