The Edinburgh Reporter Giant Pandas 42 (2)

Edinburgh Zoo is celebrating its centenary this year and of course there would be no better way to celebrate than a little panda cub. Some media are already reporting Tian Tian’s pregnancy as a fact, but we have been told by the Zoo’s media team that it is still just a possible pregnancy, and nothing more. And the possibility of a pregnancy has not left the male panda, Yang Guang untouched. The zoo’s website reports:-

“We still think Yang Guang is reacting to Tian Tian’s hormones and chemical cues, and is a bit unwell and tired at the moment. Our veterinary team are keeping an eye on him and we’re continuing to give him the choice to be off show, an option we give all of our animals when they show signs of being off colour. We realise he’s not appeared on his panda cam too much as he has chosen to remain most of the time in his off-show area, so to give our loyal viewers something to watch in the meantime, we’re showing pre-recorded footage of both Tian Tian and Yang Guang.”

Their latest update below is exactly the same as it was two weeks ago…. and until then we have to make do with our library photos and the Zoo’s library video footage.

“In terms of Tian Tian’s possible pregnancy, we’re not out of the game yet although she’s keeping us on our toes.

“Her hormones are following an atypical pattern, with lots of rises and dips, which make timings much harder to predict. We are continually analysing hormone and protein samples and, based on the latest results, our external experts now believe Tian Tian may have experienced her secondary progesterone spike two weeks later than the results previously available suggested.

“Predicting pregnancy in giant pandas isn’t straight forward and we’re all rapidly learning that Tian Tian is a panda whose behaviour and physiology appears to be more complicated than most! We are continuing to review results with international colleagues.”