Here at B+B Edinburgh, we find that many of our guests are keen to visit Edinburgh Zoo to visit the giant pandas. Even if you aren’t able to make it to Edinburgh, you know have a chance to watch the Pandas from a live webcam set up in their enclosure. The camera view switches from both the indoor and outdoor enclosure and follows the zoo’s two giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang.
Giant pandas are an endangered species and Edinburgh Zoo hopes they will breed successfully during their 10 year loan from China. The cameras have been installed at this time as it’s mating season for the pandas. During this time Tian Tian and Yang Guang will be more active, displaying mating behaviours such as scent marking, and in Yang Guang, the male panda’s case, eating more bamboo and trying to impress his potential mate by doing headstands! The zoo has insisted that no funny business will be streamed on the web-cams, and the panda cameras are live and ready to view on the Edinburgh Zoo website.
The cameras and organisation of the camera set up were donated to Edinburgh Zoo by the company Indiago Vision. To test the sensitivity of the motion detecting cameras, two of the zoo staff dressed up in panda costumes and mimicked Tian Tian and Yang Guang’s movements within their enclosure. There is footage of the humans pretending to be the pandas on the Indigo Vision’s Youtube channel. Edinburgh Zoo has a track record for mixing animals and technology. The zoo is also home to ten chimpanzees who starred in the BBC Two documentary ‘The Chimpcam Project’ which recorded the footage created when the chimps were given camcorders to play with and use in their enclosure.
With a climate that matches the Sichuan Province in China, Edinburgh offers the perfect environment for its pandas. Most zoos have to artificially recreate the conditions for their panda enclosures, but the Edinburgh weather offers the right temperatures and humidity to grow lots of bamboo naturally.
If you want to see the pandas in person, it’s no extra cost to visit their enclosure but you have to pre-book tickets for certain time slots. Edinburgh Zoo is also home to sun bears, the smallest and rarest bears in the world. The Budongo Trail is home to the zoo’s 10 chimpanzees and is used to study the different behavioural patterns of the animals. The Budongo Trail also gives visitors a chance to meet the chimpanzees up close. There is another web-cam installed in the squirrel monkey’s enclosure, used to study and record interactions between the monkeys.
Edinburgh Zoo is great fun for both kids and grown-ups and entry to the Zoo starts at £15.50 for adults and £11 for children, although you can save by buying family discount tickets. Flights to Edinburgh from London are available from London City Airport and take just 80 minutes making Edinburgh a great choice for a UK city break. Aside from the pandas and chimpanzees at the zoo, there are other exciting attractions such as the Edinburgh Dungeons where live actors perform gory stories of Scotland’s past, Holyrood House – the official residence of the Queen, and Edinburgh Castle which sits in the city centre on a hill of volcanic rock.