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Zookeeper: Panda 'sticking to normal routine' so far

A zookeeper at Edinburgh Zoo, where it is hoped that Tian Tian the giant panda may be preparing to give birth, has said that so far she is "sticking to her normal routine".

Sharon Hatton said that Tian Tian is "doing very well" but that the zookeepers are "not seeing any changes" to suggest that a birth is imminent.

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Timeline: Tian Tian's pregnancy

Tian Tian is set to give birth to the first panda born in the UK. Credit: Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

December 2011

Tian Tian (meaning Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine) arrive in Scotland from Ya'an reserve in Chengdu, China.

April 2012

The pair are introduced at Edinburgh Zoo and shown to a specially made "love tunnel", but they only go as far as wrestling.

Yang Guang and Tian Tian in the 'love tunnel'. Credit: Edinburgh Zoo

February 2013

The zoo launches a “panda-cam” so people across the world can watch the two giant pandas in the run-up to mating season.

April 2013

After failing to show signs that she is ready to mate, Tian Tian is artificially inseminated.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang wrestled but failed to mate. Credit: Edinburgh Zoo

June 2013

The zoo's plans to carry out an ultrasound to see if Tian Tian is pregnant are shelved because it is deemed too risky to sedate her.

August 2013

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland reveals that hormone changes indicate Tian Tian may be pregnant.

'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.

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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 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".

Zoo: Ultrasound on panda to be conducted in summer

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 Credit: REUTERS/David Moir
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