Spring may be 11 days away, but for the various panda zookeepers in the United States, it's soon becoming time for the pandas to mate. The pandas at DC's National Zoo and the (Atlanta's) Atlanta Zoo are getting ready to get down. If the animals do not successfully mate, the zoos may try artificial insemination to get that increase-the-visitors-by- the-tenfold baby panda. Gothamist has extreme panda envy, and we'd probably back any political candidate who would endeavor to bring pandas to New York.

San Diego's Bai Yun (whom we visited last summer) has given birth to two healthy pandas; in fact, daughter Hua Mei went back to China and got knocked up herself! Bai Yun and Gao Gao are also preparing to mate. Gothamist has a collage of the DC pandas mating. And scientists are excited about panda poo.

Photo from Ric Feld/AP