Japan Zoo Tries To Drum Up Alligators' Interest In Sex
Zookeepers said Wednesday they hoped the low booming sound produced by large Japanese "taiko" drums would spur lethargic Chinese alligators to begin mating because of its similarity to the animals' natural pre-coital cry.
RELATED: Deep Sea Squid Goes Both Ways
"After listening to the drum performance, the female alligator Susu cried a few times but the male, Yoyo, appeared not to be interested," said Hideaki Yamamoto from Sapporo's Maruyama Zoo.
RELATED ON HUFFPO: Animal Mating Rituals Get A Little Wild
"We believe the drumming was effective. We hope to try again in the future, during the alligator's mating season from February through March," he said. The zoo has succeeded in breeding the species in the past by knocking on the glass of their enclosure, but renovations mean this is no longer possible.
RELATED: Chinese Deer and Ram Celebrate With Valentine's Day Wedding
"The new enclosure built last year has a thick acrylic screen, so it doesn't emit the right sound," Yamamoto said. "Moving to a new enclosure might have put pressure on the alligators, so the male didn't want to mate." The zoo succeeded in breeding three alligators in 2001, one in 2008 and 16 in 2009.