Edinburgh Zoo confirms no panda birth this year

Tian Tian is not pregnant. Picture; Ian Georgeson
Tian Tian is not pregnant. Picture; Ian Georgeson
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Edinburgh zoo has confirmed that resident panda, Tian Tian is not going to have a cub this year.

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Edinburgh Zoo had hoped that its female giant panda would fall pregnant. Picture; Neil Hanna

Edinburgh Zoo had hoped that its female giant panda would fall pregnant. Picture; Neil Hanna

WIth the panda breeding season coming to an end, zoo officials released a statement confirming the news.

Iain Valentine, Director of Giant Pandas at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), said: “2016 has been an extremely positive year for the giant panda and we at RZSS are proud of our ground-breaking research and husbandry expertise which have helped the species recover from Endangered to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

“Our excitement is tinged with sadness, however, as it now appears clear that Tian Tian, our resident female giant panda, will not give birth to cubs this year.

“Tian Tian’s hormone levels are returning to normal and her behaviours signal the end of her breeding cycle for this year.

“Over the next few weeks we will conduct a thorough review of the scientific data and our processes to ensure we learn from this year’s breeding season.

“I would, however, like to praise the sheer professionalism and dedication of our expert team of keepers, veterinary staff and many others who have worked tirelessly to ensure Tian Tian receives the very best care possible twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

“Whilst much of this work goes unseen, it is only thanks to their hard work and dedication that we are able to make a significant contribution to the conservation of giant pandas internationally.

“I would also personally like to thank our international partners the Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Pandas (CCRCGP) and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), as well as the team at the University of Edinburgh for their support and guidance.”