Live updates

Timeline of the Edinburgh Zoo pandas

Visitor numbers soared after the December 2011 arrival giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang at Edinburgh Zoo.

Now Tian Tian is pregnant and expected to give birth sometime soon, another chapter will open up for the popular pandas.

  • December 4 2011: The two pandas arrive in Scotland on a Boeing 777F flight dubbed the "panda express."
  • February 2012: The zoo says visitor numbers are up 200% thanks to the pandas. Around 70,000 people have seen Tian Tian and Yang Guang since their arrival.
  • April 2012: The pandas are brought together for the first time in a "love tunnel" as Tian Tian is judged ready to mate. Three days later the zoo says "sparks flew" between the pandas but they failed to mate.
  • April 2013: The zoo announces Tian Tian was artificially inseminated after she displayed behaviour not "conducive to mating."
  • October 2013: Zoo officials say Tian Tian's behaviour indicates she is not pregnant.
  • April 2014: Tian Tian was artificially inseminated again after she failed to mate naturally.
  • August 2014 Zoo officials say scientific data suggests Tian Tian is now pregnant and could give birth before the end of the month.

Read: 'Miracle' panda triplets born in China zoo

Advertisement

Edinburgh Zoo: Data suggests giant panda is pregnant

Edinburgh Zoo has announced that its latest scientific data suggests Tian Tian the giant panda is pregnant and may give birth at the end of this month.

Tian Tian sleeps in her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo in April 2014
Tian Tian sleeps in her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo in April 2014 Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Iain Valentine, director of giant pandas, said: "It is very likely that we will not know 100% if Tian Tian is pregnant until she gives birth; however very new scientific tests will give us a strong indication".

Last year, Tian Tian became pregnant through artificial insemination, but lost the cub at a late stage in her pregnancy.

Young koala has first climb outdoors in the sunshine

The first koala to be born in the UK has enjoyed his first experience playing outdoors in the sunshine.

Yooranah the koala soaking up the sun on the climbing frame at Edinburgh Zoo.
Yooranah the koala soaking up the sun on the climbing frame at Edinburgh Zoo. Credit: PA

Yooranah was born at Edinburgh Zoo in May last year and has been waiting for the weather to warm up before being allowed on the outdoor koala climbing frame.

The koala joey was born the size of a jelly bean so keepers thought Yooranah was previously too young to be let loose in the outdoor area.
The koala joey was born the size of a jelly bean so keepers thought Yooranah was previously too young to be let loose in the outdoor area. Credit: PA

The koala joey was born the size of a jelly bean so keepers thought Yooranah was previously too young to be let loose in the outdoor area.

When the weather is good the keepers take the koalas out of their heated enclosures to soak in some vitamin D from sunlight, while enjoying the sights of the zoo from their perch.

Edinburgh pandas given help with artificial insemination

The UK's only female giant panda has been artificially inseminated after failed attempts to help her mate naturally.

Tian Tian the panda
Staff's hopes of a pregnancy follow last year's disappointment when the pair did not mate. Credit: PA

Edinburgh Zoo bosses were hopeful that Tian Tian would mate with her intended partner Yang Guang this year.

But after her hormone levels started to fall quickly they turned to artificial insemination, using samples from the male.

Experts say they will not know for certain whether Tian Tian is pregnant until she gives birth, which could be in August or September.

Edinburgh pandas ready to mate 'within two weeks'

The giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo will be ready to mate within two weeks, keepers have revealed.

They hope Tian Tian and the zoo's male panda Yang Guang will produce a cub this year as the creatures both start to show the tell-tale signs that they are ready to breed.

There was disappointment last year when the pair did not mate, and although Tian Tian was artificially inseminated, she lost her foetus at late term.

Background: Edinburgh panda 'miscarriage'

 Tian Tian, in her enclosure.
Tian Tian, in her enclosure. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Experts will watch Tian Tian's behaviour closely to gauge when her 36-hour breeding window begins.

Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine) are the first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years. They arrived on loan from China in December 2011 and will remain at Edinburgh Zoo for a decade.

Advertisement

Mating season approaches for Edinburgh's pandas

Edinburgh Zoo's giant panda, Tian Tian. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Archive

Zoo keepers have begun a daily monitoring of the UK's giant panda couple as mating season approaches.

Edinburgh Zoo hopes Tian Tian and Yang Guang will produce a cub this year as the creatures start to show the tell-tale signs they are ready to breed.

There was disappointment last year when the pair did not mate and though Tian Tian was artificially inseminated she lost her foetus at late term.

Panda reproduction is a notoriously tricky process, with females only ovulating once a year.

Panda enclosure to remain closed

Tian Tian had been keeping keepers at Edinburgh Zoo guessing over her possible pregnancy since she was artificially inseminated in April.

In August, experts noted signs that she was pregnant and it was hoped a panda cub would be born by September and the panda enclosure was closed three weeks ago.

The wait goes on for possible sign of panda cubs

Tian Tian had been keeping keepers at Edinburgh Zoo guessing over her possible pregnancy.
Tian Tian had been keeping keepers at Edinburgh Zoo guessing over her possible pregnancy. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Chris West, Chief Executive Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland said:

“The panda enclosure will remain closed until the end of the week, in order to give Tian Tian time to get back into her routine and provide her keepers with the chance to recuperate after this long period of waiting.”

Read more: Edinburgh panda 'not expecting a cub'

Experts believe Edinburgh giant panda lost cub

Experts at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland believe giant panda Tian Tian "conceived and carried a foetus until late term, but then lost it".

We are all saddened by this turn ofevents after so many weeks of waiting.

Timings are difficult to pinpoint atthis moment, but we had a meeting this morning where Tian Tian’s behaviour and hormone results were reviewed and have come to the conclusion that it is very likely she has lost the pregnancy.

– Chris West, Chief Executive Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories