Edinburgh Zoo bans staff from wearing hi-vis jackets, it puts their 2 pandas off sex
Staff at Edinburgh Zoo have been warned to not wear hi-vis jackets around their two giant pandas, just in case it puts them off sex.
The Scottish zoo implemented the ban on any potentially-distracting clothing because it could interrupt a romantic moment between Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine).
The giant pandas are on loan from the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base in China until 2021, but they have yet to produce a cub.
While Sweetie was artificially inseminated last year, she failed to reach full term. Sunshine, on the other hand, has proven 'unreceptive to natural mating.'
Edinburgh Zoo, which is the only in the UK to house giant pandas, has also forbidden the use of leaf blowers near the pair.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which operates Edinburgh Zoo, said, “Animals can be sensitive to noise, vibrations and anything visual which may be out of the ordinary, such as highvisibility clothing.”
The pair, who were the first to set foot in the UK for 17 years, come at a cost of £640,000 per year - and have yet to produce any cubs.
Sweetie successfully gave birth to twins Shen Wei and Bo Si just a year before the pair arrived at Edinburgh Zoo.
The zoo began artificially inseminating Sweetie in 2013, when she fell pregnant, but it is believed she reabsorbed the foetus late term.
A second and third insemination took place in the subsequent years - but again proved unsuccessful.
The move to reduce noise around the pandas comes after it was announced in March that Sweetie and Sunshine will not attempt to breed this year.
Zoo officials told the BBC they wanted to make 'some enhancements to our giant panda enclosure' before attempting future breeding.