Ocean Park's giant panda Ying Ying is likely to meet the public in two to three weeks after recuperating from her ill-fated pregnancy, theme park curators said. The 10-year-old panda, whose 3.5cm-long foetus was found without a heartbeat last Tuesday after 130 days of pregnancy, had since regained her appetite and was more active, Ocean Park's Terrestrial Life Science senior curator Howard Chuk Hau-chung said. "She is eating 3.8kg of food daily, compared to 1kg during pregnancy," he said while pointing to a television screen showing Ying Ying's movements live from a nursery away from the public. "She is on the right track to recovery, and the next step will be determining breeding arrangements for her and her panda pal Le Le." The theme park and panda experts from Sichuan province were disappointed the foetus had started to be absorbed into Ying Ying's womb, dashing hopes it would have been the first panda born in Hong Kong. Chuk said his team was monitoring Ying Ying's health around the clock and hoped to collect the remains of the foetus for research if it was passed out of her body. However, this was challenging as the panda's instinct would be to eat the foetus to avoid leaving any trace for predators. He said the team had collected precious data during Ying Ying's pregnancy as she cooperated with blood tests and ultrasounds, a task which had proved impossible at the country's leading panda reserve at Wolong in Sichuan. This was because there were too few caretakers for the number of giant pandas - more than 150 - in captivity there. Ocean Park has four pandas. Cissy Kou Wing-sze, Chuk's deputy who takes close care of Ying Ying and Le Le, said the pandas' cooperation had only been earned through the close bond she and her team had built with them in the past eight years. "Every time after training, we reward Ying Ying with her favourite Fuji apple, not other types of apple, and Le Le's favourite toy, a towel, so they know we are good guys," she said. "It's like a trust bank, in which we need to constantly deposit positive things." Kou said the mutual trust had been reflected when it came to blood tests. Ying Ying now naturally and willingly extends her arm and tightens her fist for vets. Kou and Chuk said they had been on a roller coaster of emotions in the past few months. After witnessing Ying Ying successfully mating in a national panda breeding programme at Wolong in the spring, and subsequently becoming pregnant, they "felt so happy for Ying Ying that they shed tears". But they sobbed with disappointment when the cub was lost. "We cry a lot," Kou said. "She is part of me. I see her more often than my family." For education and conservation purposes, Ocean Park would keep Ying Ying and Le Le engaged in efforts to breed, Chuk said. The park would decide next month on the best breeding plan from various options including sending Le Le or Ying Ying to join the national panda breeding programme or letting Ying Ying mate with Le Le naturally, he added. Female pandas are prone to mate on only three days a year.