Giant pandas will not breed this year, says Edinburgh Zoo
Keepers say they need more time to assess scientific data around the breeding process.
Keepers at Edinburgh Zoo will not attempt to breed their giant pandas in 2018.
Unsuccessful efforts have been made to breed Tian Tian and Yang Guang since the pair arrived in 2011.
Experts at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) say they need more time to assess scientific data around the mating process. In the meantime, the zoo will make improvements to its panda enclosure.
Last September, female Tian Tian failed to produce a cub after a fifth attempt.
An RZSS spokeswoman said: "We will not attempt to breed our giant pandas this year because we want to further assess the incredibly complex and unpredictable breeding process.
"This pause, which is supported by our giant panda team and other key specialists, will allow us further time to consider the scientific data, our own experiences and those of colleagues around the world, including the latest thinking on giant panda accommodation."
She continued: "In the meantime, the pause will also enable us to make some enhancements to our giant panda enclosure which would not have been practical either during or between breeding seasons.
"We very much hope Tian Tian has a cub in the future and will be thrilled if this happens.
"Even without breeding success as yet, RZSS is playing a crucial role in safeguarding this magnificent species by helping fund conservation projects in China alongside international partners.
"These projects are critical, with fewer than two thousand giant pandas in the wild."