Pause will allow experts to assess the breeding process
Edinburgh Zoo has said it will not breed its giant pandas this year after five failed attempts to produce a cub.
The zoo said it will use the pause in its breeding programme to ‘further assess the incredibly complex and unpredictable breeding process’.
The time will also allow enhancements to be made to the panda enclosure, which would not have been possible during or between breeding seasons.
Together with key specialists, the giant panda team will consider the scientific data, their own experiences and those of international colleagues, in addition to the latest thinking on panda accommodation.
Giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrived in Edinburgh in 2011, having travelled from Chengdu in China. They are the UK’s only giant pandas.
Tian Tian had previously given birth to twins in China but attempts to breed her in Edinburgh have failed thus far, despite hopeful signs on several occasions.
In a statement, the zoo said: ‘We very much hope Tian Tian has a cub in the future and will be thrilled if this happens.
‘Even without breeding success as yet, RZSS is playing a crucial role in safeguarding this magnificent species by helping fund conservation projects in China alongside international partners. These projects are critical, with fewer than two thousand giant pandas in the wild.’
Image © Edinburgh Zoo