Zoo hopes raised over giant panda breeding

The UK’s only male giant panda has started showing signs of readiness to mate.

Yang Guang (Sunshine) recently began doing handstands against trees, walls and rocks, and scent-marking as high up as possible – known as displays of virility in the wild.

Experts at Edinburgh Zoo now hope Yang Guang and the female Tian Tian (Sweetie) may mate within a month.

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At the zoo yesterday, Yang Guang could be seen looking through a closed gate linking his enclosure with Tian Tian’s.

He was also reclining on his rock eating bamboo, increasing his daily intake from 80lb to 110lb. This will go up to 220lb as breeding gets closer.

In the wild he would need enough energy to travel to female territories and compete against other males.

Meanwhile, Tian Tian has started calling out to him, which is common during the breeding season.