Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Giant pandas arrive in UK

rexfeatures_1513204c.jpg
rexfeatures_1513204e.jpg
rexfeatures_1513204d.jpg
rexfeatures_1513204a.jpg

It's Christmas come early at Edinburgh Zoo, as it became the new home of two giant pandas from China over the weekend.

Female panda Tian Tian (meaning "sweetie") and her male counterpart Yang Guang ("sunshine") arrived in Edinburgh on Sunday afternoon on a specially-chartered flight from the Chengdu province of China.

Zoo officials confirmed the bears were both "very well" but "jet-lagged" after the long journey with a vet and two animal handlers aboard the so-called "Panda Express" FedEx flight.

Gary Wilson, Edinburgh Zoo's director of business operations, said: "They are in a strange sequence of sleeping for two hours and eating for two hours, a bit like most humans when they fly half way around the world.

"They are very active within the internal area, they are walking around, they are doing a lot of eating of bamboo, scenting the area and getting familiarised, just like when you have a new home yourself."

Crowds gathered to see the duo arrive in Scotland yesterday, following a five-year negotiation over the move. The pandas were greeted with a red carpet reception, complete with bagpipes and a bamboo cake.

They are to spend the next few days acclimatising to their environment before going on display on Friday 16 December. A special "panda cam" is expected to be set up from their £250,000 enclosures - made from bullet-proof glass and situated next door to one another - in the next few days.

The pandas, who are both eight years old, have not been introduced to one another. Tian Tian has had cubs in the past and Yang Guang has also fathered cubs, so it is hoped the two will produce offspring when they meet next spring, as Tian Tian comes into season. They are set to stay at the zoo for 10 years.

"They are frolicking around in their new inside enclosure and it's so far, so good," a spokesman said.

Picture credit: Rex Features

Related

rexfeatures_1506824e.jpg

Fantastic Mr Fox

Untitled-1.jpg

Chimp feeds tiger cubs

worldsmallestdog.jpg

Meet Gracie the pint-sized pug

Comments

More

Son shares mum's struggle to sell crafts: Twitter comes to the rescue

This may restore (some of) your faith in 2016.

by Amy Lewis
06 Dec 2016

The Great Christmas Bake Off: The eight contestants making a comeback

The Great Christmas Bake Off is reuniting all our old faves…

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016

Often dream about missing a plane or a train? Here’s what it means

It’s not as bad as you think.

by Moya Crockett
06 Dec 2016

First Dates fans couldn’t stop laughing at this faux pas last night

Well, that was awkward…

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016

You can now get a full cheese board delivered to your door on demand

Bring. It. On.

by Amy Lewis
06 Dec 2016

Prosecco tea is the ultimate drink for the office

It’s basically Prosecco, minus the hangover…

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016

This is why people stay in miserable relationships

New research reveals why people stay with partners who don’t make them happy.

by Moya Crockett
05 Dec 2016

Age UK’s Christmas 2016 advert is heart-breaking, but so important

No one should have no one at Christmas

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Dec 2016

You need to see the 2-minute love story that’s going viral on Facebook

It has a powerful and unexpected message at its core

by Kayleigh Dray
05 Dec 2016

This app tracks women’s experiences of cat-calling

Reclaim the streets.

by Moya Crockett
05 Dec 2016