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Giant panda Tian Tian keeps zoo keepers guessing

Giant panda Tian Tian's possible pregnancy is proving complex. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Giant panda Tian Tian's possible pregnancy is proving complex. Picture: Ian Rutherford

  • by LUCY CHRISTIE
 

The UK’s female giant panda is keeping zoo keepers guessing over her possible pregnancy.

If Tian Tian is to give birth, it may happen two weeks later than previously thought, experts at Edinburgh Zoo have said.

Keepers are monitoring the panda 24 hours a day and suggested on August 26 that she could produce a cub within the fortnight.

In an update, the zoo said: “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 straightforward and we’re all rapidly learning that Tian Tian is a panda whose behaviour and physiology appears to be more complicated than most.”

 

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