Edinburgh Zoo pandas close to million visitors

Yang Guang has helped draw a crowd. 'Picture: Neil Hanna
Yang Guang has helped draw a crowd. 'Picture: Neil Hanna
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EDINBURGH’S giant pandas are being treated to honey, carrots and apples to celebrate their millionth visitor.

The milestone, expected to be reached in the next few days, comes at the end of a difficult year for Tian Tian and Yang Guang.

After a colic health scare and the tension of trying to get the pair to mate, there was the decision to go for artificial insemination, followed by the anticipation of possible cubs and the disappointment of Tian Tian’s false pregnancy.

The honey, carrot and apple treat was due to be handed out today as an early Christmas present, just after the second anniversary of their arrival at the zoo from China.

Chris West, chief executive of the Royal Zoological of Scotland, said: “Interest in our giant pandas has not waned. In fact, I don’t think I would be going too far by saying giant pandas have now become synonymous with Scotland.”

The society has reported its overall income soared to nearly £15 million last year, and the number of visitors leapt by 51 per cent following the arrival of Tian Tian and Yang Guang in late December 2011.