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OneKind urges Edinburgh Zoo to give up on breeding attempts

Released to press on 25 August 2015

Animal protection charity OneKind is urging the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland to end its breeding programme for giant panda Tian Tian following reports the latest attempt to produce a panda cub through artificial insemination has failed.

The female giant panda Tian Tian who was artificially inseminated earlier this year using semen from the male panda Yang Guang is understood not to be pregnant with zoo officials saying the window for producing a cub has now passed.

Tian Tian has now undergone the invasive process several times in the last three years, without achieving a successful pregnancy.

Policy Director Libby Anderson said: "Enough is enough and now is the time for the Royal Zoological Society to give up on efforts to breed from Tian Tian and put her welfare first.

“Unlike a human mother who makes the choice to undergo artificial insemination, Tian Tian has no say in whether she has these procedures. OneKind has always believed that it is misguided to attempt to breed more captive pandas in Edinburgh Zoo when they will never return to the wild or improve protection for the wild population in their native habitat.”

Edinburgh based charity OneKind, which is opposed to breeding wild animals in captivity has criticised the zoo for the lengths it has gone to intervene in what should be a natural process.

Libby Anderson added: "OneKind has expressed our view to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and we firmly believe the pandas should now be left in peace following three unsuccessful breeding attempts."

Giant pandas are renowned as being the biggest crowd pullers in the zoological world, and the deal struck between China and the Zoo was intended to be extremely lucrative, although any cubs born at Edinburgh would have to be returned to China at age two.

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For further information or photographs please contact Sarah Moyes on 0131 661 9734sarah.moyes@onekind.org

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