PIONEERING tests on Edinburgh’s giant panda Tian Tian indicate she may be having twins, the zoo has confirmed.
Ground-breaking protein analysis techniques conducted in Berlin have detected very high levels in her urine samples which could be consistent with her having two cubs around the end of this month.
The News previously revealed how the city would be set for a £50 million windfall if Tian Tian becomes the first giant panda to reproduce on British soil.
Business experts predicted a huge fillip for the Capital – which could rise even further if twins were born. Zoo chiefs have also insisted, however, that there is a chance Tian Tian is experiencing a pseudo pregnancy.
Iain Valentine, director of the zoo’s giant panda programme, said the tests at Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research have only been used in two female pandas previously.
“Some of the readings we have been picking up in some of the samples are quite high, which may be because she has twins. We also know there is a possibility of twins based on what we are doing at the artificial insemination stage because she gave birth to twins in 1999. If we take all these things together, it would be silly for us not to think she’ll give birth to twins – or at least not to count it in.”