UK on Another Baby Watch

This time it's a panda, and it would return to China

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 9, 2013 9:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – UK newspapers are filled with headlines of another high-profile pregnancy, or at least a suspected pregnancy. This time it's Tian Tian, a giant panda at the Edinburgh Zoo, reports the Scotsman. Tian Tian seems like she's pregnant—her hormone levels have changed, and she's showing signs of nesting—but zoo keepers probably won't know for certain until shortly before a baby arrives, possibly as early as next month, reports AFP.

It would be the first panda born in the UK, but, alas, this royal baby would have to return to China in about a year. (The zoo pays China $1 million a year to keep Tian Tian and male companion Yang Guang.) The zoo used artificial insemination in April, and things are looking "quite promising," says the leader of its panda project. The tricky part is that panda are notorious for having "pseudo pregnancies," says the BBC in a primer on the topic. (The National Zoo in DC just got some new arrivals of its own—rare tiger cubs.)

Giant panda Tian Tian in her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo on Friday.
Giant panda Tian Tian in her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo on Friday.   (AP Photo / Danny Lawson/PA)
Giant panda Tian Tian in her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo on Friday.
Giant panda Tian Tian in her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo on Friday.   (AP Photo / Danny Lawson/PA)
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