Tuesday 26th of August 2014
Tom at Car Hire Edinburgh Airport thinks the staff at the Zoo must be getting extremely excited as the date gets closer for the hopeful new arrival.
The pregnant panda Tian Tian at Edinburgh Zoo has been given a due date, by the German scientist who made this possible. Dr Frank Goeritz said the latest hormone tests pointed to the 31st August as the day she will deliver.
Dr Goeritz said “The calculated birth is 31st of August, estimated from the latest test results. We measure the hormones and specific proteins, the pgfm, which is the pregnancy-maintaining hormone that you measure in the urine. That indicates that the pregnancy is still there and then we match that with a timetable.”
Tian Tian failed to mate with Yang Guang earlier this year, for the third year in a row, and was artificially inseminated instead.
The pandas arrived on loan from China in December 2011 following five years of talks between officials and became the first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years. The animals, both aged ten, will remain at Edinburgh Zoo for a decade. Under the terms of the agreement any cubs will return to China at the age of two, the age at which they would normally leave their mother in the wild.
Dr Frank Goeritz is the senior scientist of reproduction management at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin. He has previously worked with pandas in Berlin, Vienna and Memphis before lending his expertise to Edinburgh Zoo.