Zoo panda ultrasound scan

Vets will conduct an ultra sound scan on Edinburgh Zoo's female panda Tian Tian in the summer to see if she is expecting cubs. She was artificially inseminated over the weekend after she didn't display any interest in the zoo's other panda Yang Guang

Zoo reveals more about panda artificial insemination

Edinburgh Zoo has revealed more about the artificial insemination of Tian Tian - the UK's only female giant panda - after she failed to mate with the zoo's other panda Yang Guang.

A combination of frozen and fresh semen was used belonging to Yang Guang and another panda called Bao Bao.

According to the zoo, using multiple samples allies with the panda’s natural mating strategy to maximise the chance of successful breeding.

Tian Tian in her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo
Tian Tian in her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Iain Valentine, director of giant pandas, said: "It would have been amazing if the pandas had mated naturally, however artificial insemination is the next best thing for the overall global conservation effort and the individual biology of Tian Tian our female.

"Like IVF, artificial insemination is essentially an opportunity for science to give nature a helping hand".

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Zoo: Ultrasound on panda to be conducted in summer

Tian Tian inspects her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo
Tian Tian inspects her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo Credit: REUTERS/David Moir

Veterinarians will conduct an ultrasound scan on Edinburgh Zoo's female panda Tian Tian in the summer to see if she is expecting cubs.

Specialists artificially inseminated Tian Tian after she didn't display any interest in the zoo's other panda Yang Guang.

Zoo keepers say they remain hopeful that they will have panda cubs by September.

Yang Guang enjoys some bamboo in Edinburgh
Yang Guang enjoys some bamboo in Edinburgh Credit: REUTERS/David Moir

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UK's only female giant panda artificially inseminated

Natural mating was not attempted between Tian Tian, and the male Yang Guang. Credit: Press Association

The UK's only female giant panda has been artificially inseminated in the hope in making her pregnant.

Natural mating was not attempted between Tian Tian (Sweetie) and male Yang Guang (Sunshine) as scientists who have been monitoring them said the pair were showing signs "not conductive to mating."

Read: Panda not yet ready to breed despite grumpy behaviour

A team of experts from around the world have been at the zoo for the past week to monitor the paid as Tian Tian approached her crucial 36-hour breeding window. A spokeswoman for Edinburgh zoo said:

"Edinburgh Zoo's specialist team and experts from around the world performed artificial insemination on female giant panda Tian Tian in the early hours of this morning.

"Both pandas and humans are sleeping today. The procedures went very much to plan and they are both well, but will be off show until Tuesday."

More: Edinburgh Zoo 'still waiting' for panda procreation