Royal Zoological Society of Scotland told to give up trying to force a pregnancy
An animal protection charity has blasted Edinburgh Zoo in its attempts to force giant panda Tian Tian to give birth to a panda cub.
OneKind made the statement following reports the latest effort to produce a cub at the zoo was unsuccessful.
It was thought Tian Tian, the panda on loan from China, would give birth on 31 August but latest tests have showed she is unlikely to still be pregnant.
Unlike a human mother who makes the choice to undergo artificial insemination, Tian Tian has no say in whether she has these procedures
OneKind, which is opposed to breeding wild animals in captivity has criticised the zoo for the lengths it has gone to intervene in what it says should be a natural process.
Attempts have been made to impregnate Tian Tian via artificial insemination over the last two years after she failed to mate with male giant panda Yang Guang, also on loan, in 2012.
OneKind policy director Libby Anderson said: “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 when they will never return to the wild or improve protection for the wild population in their native habitat.”
Anderson added: “We are sorry to hear that this pregnancy has not worked out. But we think that now is the time to leave these animals in peace.”