Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunlight), the two giant pandas I wrote about here last month arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, this weekend from their home in China.
Edinburgh Zoo’s newest residents arrived in freezing, snowy weather and settled into their new home – the first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years.
Years Of Diplomacy And Planning
From the BBC:
The arrival follows years of diplomacy and consultation with conservationists. But first came the not inconsiderable task of moving the creatures 5,000 miles (8,050km) from the Ya’an reserve in Chengdu, China.
Dave Lange, managing director of aircraft charters for FedEx Express, which transported the pandas, said the nine-hour flight required 21 months of co-ordination with three teams of specialists in three countries.
As with any operation to move rare animals, he said logistics was everything. “It takes a great deal of planning,” he said.
The enclosures in which the bears were carried were flown out from Memphis to China in advance of the trip and the animals were gradually introduced to them in the lead-up to their departure.
On-board, in addition to the flight crew, there was a load master – who had responsibility for ensuring the animals were safe and secure – two attendants and a veterinarian to monitor the animals during the flight.
A Good Plan To Have Scotland Pay China Almost $10 Million?
It’s good to know that great care was taken in transporting Tian Tian and Yang Guang, but is it really fair to move these amazing creatures 5,000 miles from their home, to live in a cold, damp environment, in separate enclosures of the zoo for most of the year?
And is it a good idea for Scotland to pay China almost $10 million in loan fees? Something is very wrong here.
Watch this video and see what you think:
Photo Credit: accwai