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Edinburgh Zoo's Pandas Fail To Mate

Posted: 04/ 5/2012 7:28 am

LONDON (AP) — A Scottish zoo says a brief mating season has ended without success for two giant pandas that arrived in Britain in December.

Edinburgh Zoo had hoped the pair might mate after two earlier failures but found Thursday that the female's hormone levels had dropped, closing a brief reproductive window.

Zookeepers say the male Yang Guang and female Tian Tian showed signs of attraction to each other, but did not mate.

The 8-year-old animals met twice Wednesday out of public view, as keepers attempted to create a romantic atmosphere.

Video released by the zoo showed the pandas grappling playfully, but no more.

The animals are on loan from China, and the first pandas to live in Britain in nearly two decades. Their names mean Sunshine and Sweetie.

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  • Male giant Panda Yang Guang (Sunshine) relaxes in his enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo on December 12, 2011. The pair of giant pandas that arrived in Britain from China on December 4 went on show to the media on December 12 before being fully presented to the public later in the week. It is hoped that the pandas, the first to live in the UK for 17 years, will eventually breed and give birth to cubs. AFP PHOTO

  • EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 12: Yang Guang (L), the male panda, looks through the fence of his enclosure at Tian Tian as they make their first appearance in from of the media since arriving from China on December 12, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The eight-year-old pair of giant pandas arrived on a specially chartered flight from China over a week ago and are the first to live in the UK for 17 years. Edinburgh zoo are hopeful that the pandas will give birth to cubs during their 10 year stay in Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Giant Panda Yang Guang (Sunshine) enjoys his meal of bamboo shoots while Tian Tian (Sweetie) takes a nap (not in picture) prior to a ceremony to send them off at the Wolong National Natural Reserve in China's southwest Sichuan province on November 3, 2011. The two giant pandas are set to arrive at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland on a eagerly anticipated ten-year loan from China, agreed after years of high-level political and diplomatic negotiations. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 04: Chinese Panda Yang Guang arrives at Edinburgh Airport on December 4, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Tian Tian and Yang Guang, a pair of eight-year-old giant pandas arrived on a specially chartered flight and will be the first to live in the UK for 17 years. Edinburgh Zoo are hopeful that the pandas will give birth to cubs during their 10 year stay in Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Male giant Panda Yang Guang (Sunshine) walks in his enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo on December 12, 2011. The pair of giant pandas that arrived in Britain from China on December 4 went on show to the media on December 12 before being fully presented to the public later in the week. It is hoped that the pandas, the first to live in the UK for 17 years, will eventually breed and give birth to cubs. (AFP/Getty Images)

  • Male giant Panda Yang Guang (Sunshine) relaxes with some bamboo in hand in his enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo on December 12, 2011. The pair of giant pandas that arrived in Britain from China on December 4 went on show to the media on December 12 before being fully presented to the public later in the week. It is hoped that the pandas, the first to live in the UK for 17 years, will eventually breed and give birth to cubs. (AFP/Getty Images)

  • EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 12: Yang Guang (L), the male panda, looks through the fence of his enclosure at Tian Tian as they make their first appearance in from of the media since arriving from China on December 12, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The eight-year-old pair of giant pandas arrived on a specially chartered flight from China over a week ago and are the first to live in the UK for 17 years. Edinburgh zoo are hopeful that the pandas will give birth to cubs during their 10 year stay in Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Male giant Panda Yang Guang (Sunshine) walks in his enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo on December 12, 2011. The pair of giant pandas that arrived in Britain from China on December 4 went on show to the media on December 12 before being fully presented to the public later in the week. It is hoped that the pandas, the first to live in the UK for 17 years, will eventually breed and give birth to cubs. (AFP/Getty Images)

  • EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 12: Male panda Yang Guang makes his first appearance in front of the media since arriving from China on December 12, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The eight-year-old pair of giant pandas arrived on a specially chartered flight from China over a week ago and are the first to live in the UK for 17 years. Edinburgh zoo are hopeful that the pandas will give birth to cubs during their 10 year stay in Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 16: Tian Tian the female panda bear looks out from her enclosure as members of the public view her for the first time at Edinburgh Zoo on December 16, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The eight-year-old pair of giant pandas arrived on a specially chartered flight from China over a week ago and are the first to live in the UK for 17 years. Edinburgh zoo are hopeful that the pandas will give birth to cubs during their 10 year stay in Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 12: Female panda Tian Tian makes her first appearance in front of the media since arriving from China on December 12, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The eight-year-old pair of giant pandas arrived on a specially chartered flight from China over a week ago and are the first to live in the UK for 17 years. Edinburgh zoo are hopeful that the pandas will give birth to cubs during their 10 year stay in Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 12: Female panda Tian Tian makes her first appearance in front of the media since arriving from China on December 12, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The eight-year-old pair of giant pandas arrived on a specially chartered flight from China over a week ago and are the first to live in the UK for 17 years. Edinburgh zoo are hopeful that the pandas will give birth to cubs during their 10 year stay in Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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