No fly zone for pregnant panda

BERLIN based Dr Frank Goeritz, the German fertility expert who artificially inseminated Edinburgh panda Tian Tian has confirmed that the 10-year-old panda is due to give birth on August 31.

The day has been labelled ‘P-Day’ – when staff and visitors at Edinburgh Zoo are looking to celebrate the arrival of a panda cub.

Dr Goeritz confirmed that although the panda was definitely pregnant, there was a lot that could still go wrong.

The Civil Aviation Authority have received a request from Edinburgh Zoo to ask that pilots landing at nearby Edinburgh airport avoid flight paths directly above the zoo, such is the delicate nature of panda pregnancy.

The pandas are on loan from the Chinese government. They arrived in December 2011 to great acclaim and became the first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years.

The pandas will stay at Edinburgh Zoo for a decade. Under the terms of the agreement cubs born in Edinburgh will return to China at the age of two, the age at which they normally leave their mother in the wild.

Dr Goeritz is based at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin where he is the senior scientist of reproduction management.

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