US-born panda Tai Shan takes first step toward fatherhood

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Tai Shan attempted mating for the first time since his return to China.

Tai Shan, 11, a celebrity panda born and raised in the United States, on Friday attempted mating for the first time since his return to China in 2010.

He mated with Wen Yu, two years his junior, on Friday morning at the Ya'an base of the Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in southwestern Sichuan Province.

Observers said Tai Shan performed excellently in the 2-minute-6-second mating after nearly 90 minutes of "affective interaction" with his partner.

Tai Shan had suffered digestive problems since returning from the United States. He was put onto the center's reproduction plan this year after recovery.

Tai Shan, born at Washington's National Zoo to "Mei Xiang" and "Tian Tian," was a superstar during his five-year stay in the United States.

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