Chris West, CEO of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland said:- “It is still too early to tell at this stage and any suggestion that the female panda is pregnant is pure hopeful speculation. We may not know for a good few weeks yet. We are only eight weeks post artificial insemination at the moment and we have not detected a second rise in progesterone in Tian Tian yet.
This second hormone rise will then either indicate pseudo pregnancy or a real pregnancy, and if real, then confirms we are 40 to 50 days from a potential birth. Pandas also show nesting behaviour whether they are pregnant or not. As previously stated, we will not have any more information until the end of July/early August time.
“We are of course working closely with our Chinese colleagues and those in American panda zoos with cubs, and we will look to use a combination of ultra sound imaging and hormone assays to make the confirmation, whilst working around Tian Tian’s needs and behaviour at all times. We do not work in isolation, but share expertise as a collective.
“As soon as we know either way we will let everyone know the outcome, until then we wait in suspense alongside everyone else. A cub would be amazing for the overall conservation effort and for visitors to Edinburgh Zoo.