Love Zoo: Will sex cure panda's habit of walking backwards?

A young female panda at Berlin Zoo is being set up with a male lover in the hope that sex will help cure her unusual habit of walking backwards.

Zookeepers believe the frustrations associated with life in captivity may be behind four-year-old Meng Meng's strange afflicition.

They hope being romanced by Jiao Qing, a panda three years her senior, will literally help her to move forward.

"Meng Meng is in puberty," Berlin Zoo director Andreas Knieriem told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.

"The reverse walk is a protest against things she dislikes, be it the food or the carers."

Giant pandas in captivity are usually kept apart except during the mating season, between February and May.

"By then, Meng Meng will have reached sexual maturity and could focus all her energy on seducing her partner," Mr Knieriem added.

Both pandas are on loan from China and are the major attractions of the zoo's £7.6m Chinese compound, which was opened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping in July.