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We wanted pandas to have sex on our terms, as research subjects. We expected them to mate in public, with whatever partners we chose for them, no real chance to get accustomed to each other and little knowledge of how adult pandas negotiate sex. “But … listen here,” said Meghan Martin-Wintle, executive director of the captive-breeding research nonprofit PDXWildlife and a postdoctoral researcher at the San Diego Zoo Global Institute for Conservation Research. “Animals choose partners based on a variety of reasons. As humans, we don’t even understand what those reasons are.”