Mating call for giant panda Tian Tian

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TIAN Tian, Edinburgh Zoo’s female giant panda, will be ready to mate next week, her keepers said yesterday.

Experts at the zoo said Britain’s only resident female panda had been monitored for months and her hormone levels indicated she was coming into season.

They believe Tian Tian will be able to mate next Tuesday or Wednesday with partner Yang Guang. Female pandas ovulate once a year, giving a narrow window of 36 hours in which they can get pregnant. Iain Valentine, director of research and conservation, said: “We’ve seen behavioural changes in Tian Tian over the last week or so: calling out to Yang Guang and spending time in her pond to cool her internal system down. And now her hormone levels are changing too.

“Based on the data, we believe our female panda will probably be ready to mate early next week.”

The zoo said it is likely that both pandas will be taken off display over the crucial days.