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Better luck next year? Scotland's pandas fail to mate

The pandas of Edinburgh Zoo are to have one last chance to create a cub. Itv's Science Editor Lawrence McGinty has been monitoring the developments.

After three days of speculation, tension and excitement, a zoo announced Thursday that Scotland's only pandas -- Sweetie and Sunshine -- had failed to mate.

Normally kept separately, they were only introduced to each other Tuesday, but the signs looked good.

"Gentle giant" Sunshine, or Yang Guang, had been doing "panda handstands" to display his virility, while "very smart" Sweetie, or Tian Tian, also seemed interested.

In Edinburgh, Scotland, two new pandas from China have been confined together in the hopes that they would breed but so far, despite the zoo's best efforts, they appear disinterested. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

In a brief emailed statement, Edinburgh Zoo said they noticed a drop in Sweetie's hormones late Wednesday and "limited breeding behavior was seen in both pandas" Thursday morning.

The only pandas in the United Kingdom have been brought together for the first time, after it was determined that the female was ready to mate. Msnbc.com's Alex Witt reports.

"As a result Tian Tian and Yang Guang were not put in together today [Thursday]. Edinburgh Zoo can announce that the panda breeding season for 2012 has now come to an end and both pandas are back on display," the statement said.

Lack of mating experience hinders Scotland's pandas

There was perhaps a note of sadness in the final line of the email, which was sent to msnbc.com and other media outlets. 

"No interviews will be given today and there’s no access on site."

Two giant pandas went on public display for the first time at Edinburgh Zoo today. ITN's Debi Edward was at the zoo along with hundreds of other eagerly waiting visitors to catch a glimpse of the pair.

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