Giant farewell plans for panda pair at Edinburgh Zoo

RZSS/Cover Images

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has announced plans to give giant pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian a 'giant farewell' from Edinburgh Zoo before they return to China later this year.

A new series of events and experiences will be available to book from Monday 9 January, including exclusive 'Panda Magic Moments' which will only be available to RZSS members, patrons and giant panda adopters.

Yang Guang and Tian Tian arrived in Edinburgh in December 2011 as part of a 10-year arrangement between RZSS and the China Wildlife Conservation Association, and their stay was extended by two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The giant pandas could leave the capital as early as the end of October 2023, with travel details to be confirmed closer to the time.

David Field, RZSS chief executive, said, "We were thrilled to extend Yang Guang and Tian Tian's stay at Edinburgh Zoo, especially as the pandemic made it much harder for people to visit and would have prevented our giant panda keepers from travelling to China to help the pair settle into their new homes.

"As the UK's only giant pandas, they have been incredibly popular with visitors which has helped to connect millions of people to nature as well as raising vital funds for wildlife conservation."

RZSS has pledged to reverse the decline of at least 50 species by 2030 and the charity intends to convert the zoo's giant panda habitat to welcome a new animal in the future.