Panda enthusiasts have just two more weeks to say goodbye to Britain’s only giant pandas.
From Thursday 30 November, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) will be restricting access to Yang Guang and Tian Tian’s enclosure as the panda pair prepare to return to China. After that date, the iconic animals may be out of sight as the wildlife conservation charity’s keepers ready the bears for the journey home in early December.
David Field, RZSS Chief Executive, 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 panda’s 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.”
Yang Guang and Tian Tian arrived in Scotland in December 2011 as part of a ten-year agreement between RZSS and the China Wildlife Conservation Association, which was later extended by two years.