Animal protection charity OneKind has criticised the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s latest attempt to produce a panda cub for Edinburgh Zoo through artificial insemination.
OneKind Policy Advisor Libby Anderson said: “It is desperately sad that the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has chosen to subject Tian Tian to further invasive procedures for a fourth year running in a bid to produce a panda cub. OneKind maintains its position that attempting to breed more captive pandas in Edinburgh Zoo is misguided, when they will never return to the wild or improve protection for the wild population in their native habitat.”
It is understood the female giant panda Tian Tian has been artificially inseminated earlier this week using semen from the male panda Yang Guang. The female giant panda has now undergone the invasive process several times in the last four years, without achieving a successful pregnancy. 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: “We have said time and time again that the zoo should leave the animals in peace rather than continually forcing unnatural procedures on them in efforts to breed a captive panda cub. After four years of unsuccessful attempts to breed, surely enough is enough.”
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.
Notes to editor: OneKind is a Scottish animal welfare charity based working to end animal suffering through campaigns, research and education.