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."
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."
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"
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.”
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.
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.
Staff at Edinburgh Zoo went to great lengths in ensuring their new "panda-cam" was at its best in the run-up to mating season.Read the full story ›
The UK's only male giant panda shows signs he is ready to mate sparking hopes that Edinburgh Zoo could see some panda cubs in the future.Read the full story ›
One of the UK's two giant pandas celebrated his ninth birthday today in Edinburgh Zoo.
Yang Guang tucked into a special cake in the shape of a panda head, as well some bamboo presents.
His birthday comes just ten day's before the UK's other giant panda, female Tian Tian, who will turn nine on August 24.
Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine) are the first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years and Edinburgh Zoo will be their home for the next 10 years.
Britain's only pandas have run out of time to mate as their limited breeding season drew to a close.
Tian Tian and Yang Guang had a window of just 36 hours to mate and despite "natural sparks" flying between them, the pair did not do the deed.
Keepers at Edinburgh Zoo hoped for one final chance to put them together today but test results late last night showed a drop in the female bear's hormone levels.
They met five times on Tuesday and several times again yesterday and had shown signs of attraction to each other. However, the zoo said the level of interest had passed and limited breeding behaviour was seen in both pandas this morning.
Britain's only pandas have just one more chance to breed successfully, as time runs out.
On Wednesday "natural sparks" flew between Yang Guang and Tian Tian, but the pair failed to mate, as the female bear's limited window of fertility draws to a close.
Keepers at Edinburgh Zoo opened a "love tunnel" between their enclosures after tests showed Tian Tian had ovulated.
They met five times on Tuesday and "several times" on Wednesday but failed to ignite the "spark".
The pandas will have a final chance to mate on Thursday but keepers are losing hope that Tian Tian will get pregnant this year.