THE Visitor Experience Coordinator for Edinburgh Zoo may need to have Professional Matchmaker added to his title.
In the past two years he has arranged no less than 35 marriage proposals at the Zoo’s top visitor attraction -the enclosure housing giang pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian.
The giant pandas are a particular favourite with the enamoured.
The Zoo’s penguins are also occasional witnesses to an engagement, with the penguin parade a perfect opportunity to pop the question.
Tony Bradford said:“Usually the boyfriend will get in contact with the Zoo a month or so beforehand to see how we can help facilitate this special moment. There are regular suspended viewing slots throughout each day and I will offer one of these as an opportunity for some privacy with the pandas to make the announcement. Surprisingly though, some Lotharios seem to prefer an audience and have instead requested to hold their proposal during a normal tour. I’m pleased to say all proposals have so far been successful – so our acceptance record is 100%.
“Although giant pandas aren’t particularly romantic animals, meeting only once a year and spending the rest of the time totally disinterested in the opposite sex, people are really drawn to their charisma and uniqueness.
As the UK’s only giant pandas, it is a pretty special opportunity for what is a monumental life-changing moment. You certainly won’t forget it!”
With Zoo proposals increasing, Edinburgh Zoo’s catering company Compass is looking to launch an engagement package, offering couples the chance to enjoy a glass of champagne and afternoon tea in the historic Mansion House.