Pilots asked to avoid Edinburgh Zoo for mating animals

Pilots are being asked to avoid flying over Edinburgh Zoo to avoid disturbing the animals during mating season.

The Civil Aviation Authority has published a Notice To Airmen (NoTam) - usually issued to alert aircraft pilots to potential hazards along flight routes - requesting pilots to not to fly in the area above the zoo if possible.

Edinburgh's giant panda Tian Tian is thought to be in the early stages of pregnancy. Credit: PA

A spokeswoman told The Herald newspaper the notice was particularly relevant at this time of year, when the noise from from low-flying planes and helicopters increases because of visitors to the city's famous festival.

"Edinburgh Zoo has a NoTam in place over its airspace to prevent disturbance to all animals in the collection, yet it is mainly asked in consideration of the breeding penguin colony," she said.

The highly-anticipated pregnancy of the zoo's giant panda Tian Tian is also thought to be a factor in the request.

Tian Tian was artificially inseminated on April 13 and last week it was revealed that "the latest scientific data" suggests she is pregnant.