Move over Tian Tian and Yang Guang! Farmer breeds panda lambs


Move over Tian Tian and Yang Guang! Farmer breeds lambs that look like pandasRex

With the recent attention on giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang at Edinburgh Zoo, it seems that Scotland has gone panda mad as one farmer has bred sheep to look like the giant pandas.

The first lamb, complete with black eyes and ears, was born on April Fool's Day but proud farmer Jill Noble insists they're no joke.

Noble refuses to reveal the breeds of the parents of the six lambs that were born on Windy Gowl Farm in Carlops, Peeblesshire.

The lambs are the spitting image of giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang with the distinctive white faces with black rings around their eyes, back ears and patches on their bodies.

Move over Tian Tian and Yang Guang! Farmer breeds lambs to look like pandasTian Tian and Yang Guang at Edinburgh Zoo/PA

Although she wouldn't reveal their parents' breeds, Noble said to the Daily Record: 'Let's just say there is a bit of Icelandic as well as Scottish.'

'We are calling it the panda breed. We do sell Icelandic lambs as they look very nice so I imagine there will be interest in this breed.'

Jill, who has a 120-strong flock of sheep at her farm in Peeblesshire had never cross-bred sheep in the 24 years she's owned the farm but decided to experiment last November. It took her hours of research to see if the black, white and coloured sheep used would be the perfect fit.

'Everyone is very amused and impressed by the lambs. And the sheep certainly showed the pandas a thing or two about producing babies,' she said.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang failed to breed this week and had just 36 hours to do. Edimburgh Zoo has decided against artificial insemination and now has to wait another year before the pandas can try for cubs again.

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