Edinburgh recently gave a warm welcome to two very special new residents. Tian Tian and Yang Guang, the first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years will be calling Edinburgh Zoo home for the foreseeable future.
Since their arrival on the 4th December, the pair are said to be settling in well. The male, Yang Guang is the more outgoing of the two but both are easy-going and like to eat and sleep a lot. They will live in separate enclosures as pandas are solitary animals but when Tian Tian comes into season early next year, the pair will be introduced to each other in the hope that they will produce baby cubs.
Having been given 10 days to recover from their long journey before going on show to the public, the magnificent duo are now ready to be shown. The first 600 visitors have already pre-booked their tickets and will get a 30 minute slot to enjoy the special occasion. Already the zoo has seen a 200% rise on usual numbers for this time of year.
These figures are much welcomed as Tian Tian and Yang Guang haven’t come cheap. On top of the Â£250,000 spent on the enclosures and the annual Â£600,000 cost of loaning the bears, they will get through 30 kilos of bamboo every day which equates to Â£70,000 a year.
It appears as though the zoo has nothing to worry about though as everyone is keen to catch a glimpse of the rare and intriguing bears. It is predicted that visitor numbers will double in the first year which is not only great news for the zoo, but Edinburgh as a whole as this will undoubtedly increase tourism and boost the Scottish economy.