UK pandas fail to mate

2012-04-05 17:29
London - Britain's only giant pandas failed to mate during their 36-hour window of opportunity, Edinburgh Zoo said on Thursday.

It was "close, but no cigar", the zoo said, after Yang Guang (Sunshine) mounted female panda Tian Tian (Sweetie) several times, without full mating taking place.

The pandas are spending 10 years on loan in the Scottish capital following years of diplomatic negotiations with China that culminated in them arriving in December.

But female pandas ovulate only once a year, with a 36-hour window to fall pregnant and although "the furry pair have hit it off", the clock has run out for the pair this time, the zoo said.

"Results in late last night saw a drop in Tian Tian's hormones and then limited breeding behaviour was seen in both pandas this morning," an Edinburgh Zoo spokesperson said.

"As a result, Tian Tian and Yang Guang were not put in together today. Edinburgh Zoo can announce that the panda breeding season for 2012 has now come to an end and both pandas are back on display."

Rare occurrence

Natural breeding is a notoriously rare occurrence in the endangered species.

Iain Valentine, the zoo's director of research and conservation, said it had been a "fantastic trial run" and there had been a "huge amount of eagerness and attraction" between the pair.

"There was lots of vocalisation and encouragement from our female and physical contact between the two," Valentine said. "He mounted her several times. However full mating did not occur.

"Although both have bred before and have borne cubs with other pandas, they are both still relatively inexperienced," he added.

"We are hugely encouraged by how much the natural sparks flew between the two animals, as, like humans, not all male and female pandas are attracted to each other. Both were keen to mate but their inexperience showed.

"Baby cubs would have been a bonus this year but we have to appreciate that the pandas have only just arrived and have had limited time to settle."
Read more on:    animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.