This week we learned Edinburgh Zoo’s much-loved giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang will be returning home to China. Since arriving in December 2011, the beautiful animals have drawn thousands of people to see them.
It was hoped the pair would have a cub together to help preserve the future of the species – but this wasn’t to be. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland was granted the pandas by the China Wildlife Conservation Association as a 10-year loan to Edinburgh Zoo. They are the only giant pandas in the whole of the UK. The Covid pandemic extended their stay, but it has been announced Tian Tian and Yang Guang will be leaving the Capital in around Autumn 2023.
1. Yang Guang
Yang Guang, the male giant panda at Edinburgh Zoo, takes a stroll around his enclosure Photo: Neil Hanna
2. Special delivery
The pandas arrived from China at Edinburgh Airport, before a police escort took them to Edinburgh Zoo on 4 December, 2011. Yang Guang, the male panda, is second off the plane, before being loaded into a Fedex van. Photo: Jayne Wright
Yang Guang, whose name means sunshine in Mandarin, makes his first appearance in front of the media since arriving from China in December 2011. Photo: Neil Hanna
Scottish scientists were able to study Yang Guang and Tian Tian's diet while they stayed at Edinburgh Zoo, in an effort to aid the conservation of this iconic species in the wild. Photo: Ian Georgeson