Giant Pandas Sweetie And Sunlight Ready To Make Brits Swoon

Tian Tian, an 8-year-old female, will be the first giant panda to come to Britain for almost 20 years when she arrives at Edinburgh Zoo next month with her male companion, Yang Guang.

First Giant Pandas To Live In UK For 17 Years

Tian Tian and Yang Guang, born in 2003, will be the first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years.

From The Daily Telegraph:

Like all A-list stars, she makes absolutely no effort to ingratiate herself with her fans; indeed she appears to ignore them as a point of principle.

Granted an exclusive audience with Tian Tian (meaning “Sweetie”) in her quarantine enclosure in the mountains of China’s Sichuan province this week, The Daily Telegraph was barely even acknowledged.

Soft entreaties of “Yoo-hoo! Tian Tian! Little Sweetie!” – were greeted only by the cocking of a teddy bear-like ear followed by a withering stare, before Tian Tian returned to delicately demolishing a stem of fresh-cut bamboo.

The breeding pair of giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guan (meaning “Sunlight”), require a highly specialized diet and at least some of it will be freshly picked for them on site.

18,000 Kilograms Of Bamboo Every Year

The pair are expected to chomp their way through nearly 18,000 kilograms of bamboo every year. In total, it will cost about £70,000 per year to provide enough bamboo to feed both giant pandas.

The zoo will grow around 15% of the bamboo needed for the pair when they arrive, and the rest of their rations will be imported from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

From The Daily Mail:

Simon Jones, the zoo’s gardens manager, said: ‘Our starting point was to ensure a long-term supply of fresh bamboo that was both sustainable and cost-effective.

‘Because bamboo forms such a fundamental part of the giant pandas’ diet, we also had to guarantee consistency of supply, and to ensure that the bamboo was of the highest possible quality while offering the variety of species required for their highly-specialised needs.

Pair Will Be On Loan For Ten Years

The animals will live in Edinburgh Zoo for ten years under the care of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. I’m sure they will make a whole lot of money for the zoo, since everyone loves a panda. Whether pandas love being moved from China to Scotland is questionable.

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Photo Credit: accwai


Carrie Anne Brown

not seeing this as good news but thanks for sharing :)

Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege6 years ago

Thank you for this interesting article.

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado6 years ago


Iva L.
Iva R6 years ago

We were living in NY when my sons were 2nd and 3d grade and the Bronx Zoo had two pandas. You had to pay extra, had a scheduled time when you could see the pandas, so we paid up, waited until it was our turn and got to see ... a panda's butt. It was lying half in and half out of its little house and all we could see was its round fat rear end. We still laugh about it :)

Past Member
Past Member 6 years ago

there survival is paramount.....why scotland I dont know. I hope they have a very large area for them....It isnt worth keeping them to develop mental illness(pacing) is horrendous. maureen in england uk

Elaine W.
Elaine W6 years ago

OMG ! I live in Edinburgh not far from the zoo but will I be going ? I HATE zoos but would love to see Pandas but my soul tells me no way !

Rossy Osborne
Rossy Osborne6 years ago

Robin R. I have also had this pointed out to me, and yes so many zoos are trying so hard to make life more comfortable for their charges.
If we want to educate our children to the plight of our planet and the habitats lost, due to human greed we do probably need zoos as well.
They do definately assist to preserve and study the animals and are very willing to educate adults and child alike on the needs and habits of these animals that alive and breathing in front of them. This gives city and country people who have never travelled or could possibly ever hope to see these creature in their native homes.

I just pray that the Pandas settle in, for the few years they are 'on loan', but i feel for them during the trips to and fro.

Past Member
Past Member 6 years ago

I am not a fan of zoos and feel they are animals prisons, and because this article doesn't state why the pandas had to be moved from China to Scotland I can't really make an informed decision about whether it was right to ship them or not. I think any amount of long distance travel is hard on animals and shouldn't happen especially when they are treated like freight, but if they were being abused or if there habitat was being threatened in China, which I don't doubt, then it might have been best for them to go where they are safe and well fed. It would've been much better for them to go to a rescue where they aren't put on display for profit however but I understand rescues don't always have resources or the ability to take them in.

Robin R.
Robin R6 years ago

I believed that zoos were like prisons for animals for many years. I do think that there are many zoos that need bigger spaces with more natural elements such as water and grass. However, I volunteered at the Gorilla Run, held here at the Calgary Zoo last year; and I voiced this opinion to another random person who was there at the time. It turns out that he was the conservation specialist for the zoo - and that a large portion of the money raised by the zoo goes to a sanctuary in Africa that would otherwise not be able to support itself. He even admitted that zoos are not ideal places for animals, but because the people who have money and power don't often consider what animals across the globe need the zoos are a necessary evil in order to get the money out of those people to help the animals. There is often a bigger picture that remains unseen; I left that day feeling very judgmental and ignorant - but I learned from the experience.

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright6 years ago

I'm no expert so I'm not sure how I feel or how to respond to the quick poll. In a utopian world these pandas would live a normal life in their natural habitats but humans have destroyed/are destroying them in record time.

What I want is what is best for these pandas ~ most of all I want them to be safe from humans and exploitation.