Zoo checks out its new panda tartan

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THEY may have no Scottish ancestry, but the giant pandas due to arrive at Edinburgh Zoo before the end of the year have been given their own tartan.

The zoo is expected to launch the new tartan in honour of Tian Tian and Yangguang within the next few weeks.

Gillespie tartan was taken as the starting point for the design in recognition of Edinburgh lawyer Thomas Gillespie who founded the Royal Zoological Society of Edinburgh in 1909.

The predominant colours are black and white, representing the pandas, with red for China and green to reflect bamboo, the animals’ favourite food.

Red overchecks are said to represent the number three, which symbolises luck and is similar to the Chinese character for birth.

A zoo spokeswoman said: “We have worked closely with designers Kinloch Anderson to create a tartan which reflects the huge cultural significance of the giant pandas’ arrival.”