YAng Guang and Tian Tian, the only giant pandas in the United Kingdom, are saying goodbye to Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo this Monday, where they spent the last 12 years of their lives in China.
The two pandas arrived in Edinburgh in 2011 under a 10-year contract between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the China Wildlife Conservation Society, which was extended by two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The goal was to produce female Tian Tian and male Yang Guang offspring, but this did not happen. However, they have become the zoo’s main attraction and visitors were last able to see them last Thursday.
According to David Field, executive director of the RZSS, the animals “have had an incredible impact on inspiring millions of people to care about nature.”
Michael Livingstone, the zoo’s senior animal keeper, who will return to China with the pandas, along with RZSS’s vet, described the farewell as “very sad and emotional”.
“Taking care of them is very different. As a team, we take care of different kinds of bears, and we were confident that we knew what kind of hurdles we had to overcome to take care of pandas,” he said. , quoted by the BBC, adding that pandas are “a very sensitive species”.
“I can only speak for myself and the other zookeepers in the zoo team who looked after them – it will be a very sad and emotional time,” he added.
In the gallery above, you can see pictures of the pandas and those removed from Edinburgh Zoo.
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