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The silvery wash of the moon illuminates the invaders in our garden
Marine conservation is about proper management not numbers
Lion killed California intern with one swipe of its paw, coroner reveals
Deer cull would threaten thousands of jobs, say furious gamekeepers
We must kill Bambi: why culling deer is a no-brainer
Five shark species win protection against finning trade
Pangolins under threat as black market trade grows
Should we learn to love eating insects?
Rare Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia
Where screeching, scarlet macaws enjoy raucous celebrity status
Summer's early birds risk their return from wintering grounds
Mexican monarch butterfly numbers at record low, scientists say
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French troops return to the heart of D-day operations
A landscape bathed in cold brilliance
Birdwatch: Pied-billed grebe
National Wildlife Crime Unit left in funding doubt
86 elephants killed in Chad poaching massacre
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Cloning extinct animals: to hell with frogs!
Spring is in the air and Zoroastrians and hares and pagans. And me
When the icy wind drops, the first hint of warmth can be felt in the sun
Don't let good zoos go extinct
  Edinburgh's female panda artificially inseminated
Tian Tian, the UK's only female giant panda, has been artificially inseminated at Edinburgh Zoo after scientists scrutinising her behaviour decided she was exhibiting signs that were not "conducive to mating".

A team of experts monitoring Tian Tian and her prospective mate, Yang Guang, for the past week, opted to perform the procedure on Sunday as the female panda neared what is unromantically known as her "36-hour breeding window".

The zoo said the insemination had gone very much to plan, and the pandas would be taken off display until Tuesday.

"Edinburgh Zoo's specialist team and experts from around the world performed artificial insemination on female giant panda Tian Tian in the early hours of this morning," said a spokeswoman.

"Natural mating was not attempted. Yang Guang had been interested and shown consistently encouraging behaviour. However, based on his many years' experience, our Chinese colleague Professor Wang felt that although Tian Tian had displayed all of the correct behaviours, she had also displayed signs that told him she would not be conducive to mating."

She said the pandas and the humans involved in the efforts to help them breed were enjoying a rest.

On Friday, Wang confirmed the unusually cold start to spring might have slowed Tian Tian's hormones, but said the recent sunny weather should help raise levels.

His team had noticed she was showing signs of nearing readiness, including grumpiness and loss of appetite.

The male and female pandas are kept in separate enclosures throughout the year and come together only for mating. For the past week, however, keepers have swapped them between enclosures in an effort to prepare them for mating.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang were also able to interact with a grate keeping them apart.

The team had been hopeful that the pair would mate naturally, but said last week Tian Tian would also be artificially inseminated to increase her chances of getting pregnant.

If Tian Tian becomes pregnant, confirmation would come in mid-July when she will have an ultrasound scan. It would then be likely that her cub, or cubs, are born at the end of August or the beginning of September.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang arrived in Scotland from China in December 2011 and have become a popular attraction, with visits from about 500,000 people in their first year, including actor Nicole Kidman and the Princess Royal.
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