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  • Billionaire Donates $4.5 Million To Increase Panda Sex

    Billionaire philanthropist David Rubenstein was so pleased with the new panda cub born this month at the National Zoo, he donated $4.5 million for more panda sex.

    Rubenstein, founder of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm based in Washington, D.C., has donated a total of $9 million to the Smithsonian’s giant panda conservation program since 2011, according to a Smithsonian press release.

    The latest gift will support research on panda reproduction and pay for upgrades to the giant panda habitat at the National zoo, among other things.

    “Pandas bring joy to millions and serve as an important cultural bridge with China, as well as yielding important scientific discoveries that help to protect these amazing giant creatures,” Rubenstein said in a statement.

    Past donations from Rubenstein led to the successful artificial insemination of Mei Xiang in 2013, and a male cub was born in August of that year. Rubenstein’s money also helped develop new methods for analyzing panda feces and plant new bamboo fields.

    The latest round of panda sex money from Rubenstein will allow research to continue on the animal that was once on the verge of extinction, zoo officials said.

    “Our 42 years of giant panda research will continue thanks to David,” said Dennis Kelly, director of the National Zoo. “His generosity allows us to focus on one critically endangered species but in doing so, we leverage all we learn to better manage other species in human care and in the wild.”

    In August, Mei Xiang gave birth to a male panda cub after being artificially inseminated with semen from a male panda at a research facility in China.

    The four week-old cub is said to be healthy and growing rapidly. Zoo officials said the cub is likely to make its first appearance in public some time in January.

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