A giant panda pair on Saturday set a new sex record of 18 minutes and 3 seconds at a Giant Panda breeding centre in southeast China's Sichuan province.

The male panda Lulu rewrote his old record of eight minutes with his partner Ximei.

Before the mating, breeders used a bamboo pole to arouse Xi Mei's sexual desire and make her ready for Lulu, who was anxiously waiting in the cage.

According to the breeding centre staff, giant pandas mate once every three to four months and breeders have to observe carefully their every behavioural change that may indicate they are sexually ready.

The mating process was videotaped and streamed live online by iPanda, a program cooperated by China Network Television and China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.