Edinburgh Zoo's male panda has testicles removed

27 November 2018, 13:21 | Updated: 27 November 2018, 13:26

Yang Guang the panda

The UK's only male giant panda is recovering from surgery to remove both testicles after tumours were discovered.

Yang Guang (Sunshine), who arrived at Edinburgh Zoo in 2011, underwent the operation following a group consultation involving British and Chinese giant panda specialists.

The zoo said the tumours developed recently and have not been a factor in Yang Guang and female panda Tian Tian (Sweetie) not having had a cub.

The operation took place on Saturday November 17, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) said.

Edinburgh Zoo will now look into future breeding opportunities.

Darren McGarry, head of living collections at the zoo, said: "We are pleased Yang Guang is recovering well.

"Testicular tumours have previously been reported in giant pandas.

"The tumours we removed developed recently so they have not been a factor in Yang Guang and Tian Tian not having had a cub.

"We will discuss next steps, including future breeding possibilities, with our partners in China over coming weeks."

The black and white bears arrived on loan from China in December 2011 and are due to remain at Edinburgh Zoo for a decade.

Tian Tian has had cubs in China but not in the UK.

The zoo tried natural breeding in 2012 and has attempted artificial insemination each year since 2013.

Earlier this year, RZSS said no efforts to breed the pair would take place in 2018.