The Giant Pandas at the Edinburgh Zoo failed to mate on Thursday and hence they will have to wait for one full year again.

As the pandas have not taken things further than wrestling with each other, the whole encounter ended only up with foreplay. The pair hasfailed to mate and had a last chance on Thursday before the end of the season.

Although "natural sparks" flew between Yang Guang and Tian Tian on Wednesday, the pair failed to mate as the female bear's limited window of fertility draws to a close.

Iain Valentine, Director of Research and Conservation at the zoo, said: "They displayed a huge amount of eagerness and attraction, and there were lots of vocalisation and encouragement from our female and physical contact between the two."

According to him, the male panda mounted her several times, but full mating did not occur. Although both have bred before and have borne cubs with other pandas, they are still relatively inexperienced.

The Telegraph quoted Valentine as saying: "At the end of the day, this is year one of a 10-year conservation project here at Edinburgh Zoo. We are hugely encouraged by how much the natural sparks flew between the two animals, as like humans, not all male and female pandas are attracted to each other. Both were keen to mate, but their inexperience showed."

Any cubs produced by the pair would belong to China, although they would stay with their mother for the first two-and-a-half years.