Edinburgh Panda Possibly Pregnant

The female giant panda at Edinburgh Zoo may be pregnant, according to keepers.

Tian Tian is showing signs that she may be expecting a cub, the director of the zoo's panda project said. 

Iain Valentine told the BBC things are ``looking good'' after the panda's artificial insemination in April. Positive signs include changes to Tian Tian's protein levels and an increase in her progesterone hormone levels, the zoo said. 

Keepers have also spotted changes in her behaviour, including lack of appetite, moodiness and ``nesting'' behaviour. But the zoo is being cautious as it has not been able to carry out an ultrasound and will not know for certain until shortly before the panda gives birth. 

If she is pregnant, that could happen as early as next month. 

Tian Tian and the zoo's male, Yang Guang, are the UK's only pair of giant pandas. Keepers had hoped that the pair would mate naturally but that was not attempted as scientists decided that Tian Tian showed signs that were not ''conducive to mating''. 

The pandas arrived from China in December 2011 and have been a popular attraction with visits from around 500,000 people in their first year, including actress Nicole Kidman and the Princess Royal.