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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

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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.

Excitement builds at zoo over panda romance

The excitement is building at Edinburgh Zoo where it seems a long awaited romance between two giant pandas is finally beginning to bud. Zookeepers say the duo, Sunshine and Sweetie, have been displaying tell-tale signs, including handstands and mating calls.

ITV News' Scotland correspondent Debi Edwards reports from the zoo:

Read: Giant panda celebrates 9th birthday.

Read: Hopes fade of panda mating at Edinburgh.

Love in the air for pandas?

Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo
Female panda Tian Tian (pictured) will meet Yang Guang for a second time Credit: Reuters

Zookeepers will be hoping love is in the air as the UK's only pandas come face-to-face for a second time as part of a programme to encourage them to mate.

The bears were introduced on Tuesday and, despite being brought together five times throughout the day, failed to mate. There were "very positive" signs however, the zoo said.

The pair have a window of just 36 hours in which to mate, after tests showed she had ovulated.

Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo
Male panda Yang Guang (pictured) and Tian Tian have a window of 36 hours in which to mate Credit: Reuters

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