Final chance to see pandas at Edinburgh Zoo ahead of their return to China

Final chance to see pandas at Edinburgh Zoo ahead of their return to China

Visitors have one final opportunity to say goodbye to Britain’s only giant pandas before zoo keepers get them ready to make their way back to China.

Yang Guang and Tian Tian have lived at Edinburgh Zoo since 2011 as part of a 10-year agreement between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the China Wildlife Conservation Association.

Access to the panda enclosure will be restricted from 3.30pm on Thursday as preparations to return the bears to China get under way.

They will head home in early December after their stay in Scotland was extended by two years.

People lined Corstorphine Road outside the zoo in 2011 to welcome them to the city.

It had been hoped that Tian Tian and Yang Guang would breed while at Edinburgh Zoo, but they produced no offspring.

RZSS chief executive David Field said: “With more than a million species at risk of extinction and our natural world in crisis, Yang Guang and Tian Tian have had an incredible impact by inspiring millions of people to care about nature.

“That added interest in the pandas’ departure this year has allowed us to connect many more people with the conservation causes that RZSS is actively involved with, and with nature more generally.

“Through scientific research by our expert veterinary and keeper teams, working alongside the University of Edinburgh, we have made a significant contribution to our understanding around giant panda fertility, husbandry, and veterinary care – which has been of real benefit to efforts to protect this amazing species in China.

“It is encouraging that in recent years the outlook for giant pandas in the wild has improved, which gives real hope for the future.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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