Panda cub born at Edinburgh zoo would be ‘sent back to China’

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ANY giant panda cub born at Edinburgh Zoo would be claimed by the Chinese government within two years – and would possibly only be on show to the public for 12 months, it’s been suggested.

If Tian Tian does give birth to a cub, it’s likely it would be kept away from the public for several months.

Tian Tian. Picture: Neil Hanna

Tian Tian. Picture: Neil Hanna

READ MORE: No panda birth today, Edinburgh Zoo confirms
And zoo bosses said in 2015 that any panda cub born in the Capital would go back to China within 24 months of the birth under the agreement signed to bring Tian Tian and Yang Guang to Edinburgh. Final approval for the cub’s chosen name would have to be given by China.

The two giant pandas are the only animals of their kind in the UK, and one of only three pairs in Europe. They were the first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years.

The last pandas in the UK, Ming Ming and Bao Bao, left a zoo in London in 1994 after failing to mate. Edinburgh Zoo said previously part of the £600,000-a-year loan deal for Tian Tian and Yang Guang was the return of any offspring.

A zoo spokeswomkan said previously: “Any cub born at Edinburgh Zoo is the property of China, returning to China after two years to go back into the vital global breeding programme and also mimicking the natural dispersal age in the wild.”

At that age, cubs would be independent of their mothers. Edinburgh Zoo acquired the pandas on loan from China in 2011 and previous attempts to mate the pair have failed.