After about two months waiting with baited breath for the 36-hours window in which the giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang would have species-prolonging intercourse and give the British Isles a delightful baby panda, scientists at the Edinburgh Zoo announced that, because Tian Tian was showing signs that were not “conducive to mating,” they have artificially inseminated her.
For those who’ve participated in Panda Fuckwatch 2013, the news that the UK’s only pair of giant pandas would not be fucking comes as a tremendous blow — scientists had hoped to let the pandas procreate naturally, but nature, in its effort to rid the Earth of its most adorable bamboo scourge, had other plans, and those plans did not included any panda sex. According to the beleaguered public relations person at the Edinburgh Zoo, scientists performed artificial insemination on Tian Tian this morning, but will have to wait until mid-July to confirm pregnancy with an ultrasound.
Although scientists had holding out hope for natural breeding, Tian Tian had exhibited behavior indicating that she did not want to mate with Yang Guang. Pandas have a narrow breeding period that lasts from about mid-April to May, and male and female pandas are kept in separate enclosures until the magic mating hour is upon them.
Image via AP, Richard Nixon