Zookeepers at Edinburgh Zoo are convinced their female giant panda, Tian Tian, is pregnant. Tian Tian has been at Edinburgh Zoo since 2011, when she was loaned from a zoo in China.
After failing numerous times to mate Tian Tian with her partner, Yang Guang, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) artificially inseminated the panda earlier this year. Using a combination of Yang Guang’s sperm and frozen samples from a bear bred at Berlin Zoo, it is now believed that the process worked and a cub can be expected soon. “Breeding pandas is exceptionally complex and we anticipate that her breeding cycle will continue into September,” a RZSS spokesperson said.
Because of the difficulties in breeding pandas, there is a chance the birth may not be a success. However, multiple zoos around the world have seen successful panda births, including giant panda twins born at Atlanta Zoo in the United States last September.