Lockdown spurs Hong Kong pandas to finally mate after a decade


IN THE PAPERS - Wednesday, April 8: We look at reactions in China as the city of Wuhan, the Covid-19 epicentre, reopens after a 76-day lockdown. Also, a pair of pandas take advantage of a deserted theme park to mate for the first time in a decade!


One story is dominating the Chinese papers and that's the reopening of Wuhan, the city that was the epicentre of the global coronavirus pandemic. "Wuhan reopens after 76-day lockdown" is the headline in China Daily, hailing it as a milestone and calling it a victory in the people's war against the virus. But the paper's editors are warning against the discrimination and stigmatization of Wuhan residents.

The city's travel restrictions are lifted today, the state-run paper Global Times says, signaling a normal resumption of life for the city's 11 million residents, albeit an anxious and cautious return to life. But the new normal will look very different, according to the Guardian’s cartoonist Patrick Blower. Drones, street cameras, a police presence and permanent surveillance will accompany residents of Wuhan. 

Finally, some good news for a Hong Kong theme park! Ying Ying and Le Le, a pair of middle-aged pandas visibly struggling with performance anxiety, refused to mate for 10 years. It turns out that all they needed was a bit of privacy and a virus lockdown! In the deserted enclosure, the two were seen doing a bit more than cuddling. But we'll have to wait until June to know if it worked!

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