Conservationists at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland put Yang Guang together in the same enclosure as Tian Tian yesterday after months of monitoring the female panda’s hormones and behaviour.
Experts concede that the normally placid bamboo-munching animals may start attacking each other immediately in any case. “We have hopes that they will breed, but it’s totally up to them,” said the zoo’s director of research and conservation, Iain Valentine.
“Our experts will be on hand to separate the two bears if the sparks fly just a little too much, as at the end of the day, both are powerful and dangerous animals.”
If they get on, they will be put together up to three times on the first day, and then again on the second day.
If that fails, the zoo will look at whether Tian can be artificially inseminated.