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'Too early to tell' if giant panda definitely pregnant

Edinburgh Zoo has said "not to get too excited yet" over rumours that its resident female giant panda may be pregnant. Tian Tian is one of only two giant pandas in the UK, and was artificially inseminated in April.

Confirming a female panda’s pregnancy is never straight forward and we would encourage people to try not to get too excited just yet – I know it is easier said than done though!

Further hormone results will be available roughly by mid-August that will add to the picture – if Tian Tian is not pregnant specific hormone levels should drop back down to zero.

Read more: Edinburgh Zoo's giant panda 'may be pregnant'

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Edinburgh Zoo's giant panda 'may be pregnant'

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

Edinburgh Zoo's resident female panda Tian Tian may be pregnant, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has revealed.

A second hormone rise in progesterone was confirmed on Wednesday, which indicates she may be expecting a cub or experiencing a pseudo pregnancy, after being artificially inseminated in April.

If there is a cub, it could be born between late August and September.

Read more: Zoo panda ultrasound scan

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

Edinburgh Zoo 'still waiting' for panda procreation

Tian Tian the Panda in her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo on her ninth birthday.
Tian Tian the Panda in her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo on her ninth birthday. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Edinburgh Zoo says that hormone tests conducted on their female panda Tian Tian suggests that she is unfortunately still not ready to mate.

There is great anticipation that the pair of pandas will breed, with experts predicting the bears should go into season over the next few days.

Rachel Goddard from Edinburgh Zoo said "Professor Wang, our Chinese expert, believes our female panda could either suddenly progress very quickly from this stage, or enter the 36 hour breeding window after a slow but continuous rise in hormone levels on either Thursday or Friday of this week".

"We will not attempt to introduce the two pandas until we reach this stage. It is all very normal and all part and parcel of giant pandas. It’s just really a waiting game now"

For more news about Tian Tian click here.

Panda not yet ready to breed despite grumpy behaviour

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

Keepers at Edinburgh Zoo say their giant female panda Tian Tian's has not expressed interest in breeding despite her recent "grumpy behaviour".

Specialists are monitoring Tian Tian (Sweetie) closely after the zoo's male panda Yang Guang (Sunshine) started displaying signs that he to is ready to mate.

A spokeswoman said "Our female giant panda chose to sleep a lot of this afternoon so we let her do what her body was telling her it needed."

"She woke late afternoon and we could see bybehavioural analysis that she still had not yet reached peak."

"We hope she will continue to progress overnight and fully hit peak tomorrow morning.”

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Keepers watching closely as Edinburgh pandas look ready to mate

Zoo keepers in Edinburgh have seen a change in the hormone levels of the female panda Tian Tian, sparking hopes that she may come in to season for only the second time since arriving in Scotland.

Male panda Yang Guang eats bamboo in a bid to bulk up ahead of breeding season.
Male panda Yang Guang eats bamboo in a bid to bulk up ahead of breeding season. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Iain Valentine, Director of Giant Pandas said: "The greatly anticipated hormone crossover has now been spotted in Tian Tian our female giant panda - her oestrogen is rising and her progesterone level has fallen through the floor.

"Every individual panda is different so it is difficult to predict exactly when the panda breeding season will be.

"Based on last year we would expect her to come into season 11 days from crossover, however her strong behavioural changes do not rule out that it could be even sooner than this.

"We'll be continuing to watch her behaviour closely and continuing to hormone test her urine twice a day."

Earlier in the year Yang Guang had started to show signs that he was ready to mate sparking hopes that Edinburgh Zoo could see some panda cubs in the future.

Read: Excitement builds as Edinburgh pandas look ready to mate

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