No luck this time: Pandas in Scotland fail to mate

April 5, 2012 - 7:36 AM
Britain Pandas

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2011 file photo, a giant female panda named Tian Tian is seen exploring her enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo in Edinburgh, Scotland. Zoo officials on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 created a private love nest for Britain's only pair of giant pandas in hope the fertility-challenged animals will mate. Giant pandas have difficulty breeding, with females fertile for only two or three days a year. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File)

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.