Edinburgh Zoo's giant panda Tian Tian is no longer pregnant, keepers have revealed.
Hopes were raised after Tian Tian showed signs of pregnancy, after she was artificially inseminated.
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.
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.”
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.
Giant panda Tian Tian is not expecting a cub, keepers at Edinburgh Zoo have confirmed.
Fourteen newborn panda cubs in China were taken outside to enjoy the sunshine and meet visitors for the first time.
Staff lined the babies up in rows and fed them in front of visitors at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Center in China's Sichuan Province.
There are four pairs of twins among the 14 pandas.
Edinburgh Zoo has admitted it is "really difficult" to tell if a female panda is pregnant as the wait goes on for a possible sighting of cubs.
Edinburgh Zoo said in a statement: "Panda breeding is not a precise science and combined with this each animal has their own individual biology - and Tian Tian is definitely not a text book panda!
“Whilst Tian Tian continues to behave like she’s pregnant and whilst her hormones, behaviour and physical changes suggest the same, we will continue to manage her accordingly; as soon as we know otherwise we will of course announce this.
"To put it into context, there are no experts around the world who can say definitively how long a giant panda pregnancy is."
The zoo can still not confirm whether or not Tian Tian is pregnant.
Edinburgh Zoo's female panda Tian Tian is still looking like she could give birth any day.
Her keepers say she continues to show all the positive hormonal and physical signs of being pregnant and in recent days apart from becoming increasingly sensitive to noise she's become rather grumpy and aggressive.
The panda enclosures will remain closed off to the public for at least the next five days during which time those looking after Tian Tian hope she will have a panda cub.
It may seem rather strange to have such uncertainty surrounding a pregnancy and over such an extended time but panda gestation periods are hard to determine and in the case of Tian Tian experts say she is an especially complicated case.
Her behaviour and blood levels are being monitored 24-hours a day so if she shows any signs of going into labour or having lost her babies keepers will be able to tell straight away.
There's apparently a bet among staff at the zoo that she'll keep us guessing till this weekend. The wait goes on.
A research centre in southwest China has brought 14 newborn panda cubs together for the first time.Read the full story ›
Edinburgh Zoo has closed off their panda enclosures to the public as Tian Tian continues to keep them guessing about her condition.
The female giant panda is still showing signs of being pregnant and in recent days has become increasingly sensitive to noise, prompting keepers to take the decision to stop public viewings of her and male partner Yang Guang.
Despite this move the Zoo can still not confirm whether or not Tian Tian is pregnant. She’s been keeping everyone, even the experts, guessing for almost a month now but this week is likely to provide us with an answer as the normal panda birthing season has already closed.
Her keepers who have been on 24 hour red alert since August 26th will be more glad than anyone that the waiting game is coming to an end.
Officials at Edinburgh Zoo said they are continuing to monitor the hormone levels of giant panda Tian Tian whose pregnancy is "atypical".
In terms of Tian Tian’s possible pregnancy, we’re not out of the game yet although she’s keeping us on our toes.
Her hormones are following an atypical pattern, with lots of rises and dips, which make timings much harder to predict.
We are continually analysing hormone and protein samples and, based on the latest results, our external experts now believe Tian Tian may have experienced her secondary progesterone spike two weeks later than the results previously available suggested.