Our ten year panda agreement comes to an end in December 2021. We will be discussing next steps with our colleagues in China and it is too soon to say what any outcomes will be.
The closures of Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park have had a huge financial impact on our charity because most of our income comes from our visitors. We have done all we can to protect RZSS by taking a government loan, furloughing staff where possible, making redundancies where necessary and launching a fundraising appeal.
Unfortunately, we cannot access the government’s zoo fund because it is aimed at smaller zoos and we still need to reduce costs to secure our future.
We have to seriously consider every potential saving and this includes assessing our giant panda contract and the cost of their daily care.
Yang Guang and Tian Tian have made a tremendous impression on our visitors over the last nine years, helping millions of people connect to nature and inspiring them to take an interest in wildlife conservation. We would love for them to be able to stay for a few more years with us and that is certainly our current aim.