Scotland is about to stay the house of the UK’s solely big pandas after Edinburgh Zoo introduced they are going to be extending their keep for 2 extra years.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland was delighted to disclose that an settlement had been reached which means Yang Guang and Tian Tian will now return to China on the finish of 2023.
The favored pair first arrived within the capital in December 2011 as a part of a 10-year association between the wildlife conservation charity and the China Wildlife Conservation Affiliation.
The zoo has simply celebrated the tenth anniversary of their arrival.
One of many zoo’s largest attracts, the pair had been slated to return to China this 12 months, nonetheless, in a transfer that will probably be music to Scottish animal followers’ ears, RZSS chief government David Subject acknowledged that the deal has been prolonged for an additional two years.
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He mentioned: “We’re thrilled that Yang Guang and Tian Tian will probably be staying at Edinburgh Zoo for 2 extra years.
“Via co-operation with our companions in China, we’ve had many successes over the previous ten years by way of approach exchanges, scientific analysis, and public engagement.
“Yang Guang and Tian Tian have helped tens of millions of individuals join with nature, so it’s unbelievable that they are going to be with us somewhat longer earlier than we are saying goodbye, particularly because the pandemic has made it a lot more durable for folks to go to them.”
Mr Subject added that the gradual return to normality can even permit additional interplay between the keepers and their companions in China.
“We additionally hope that worldwide journey restrictions will ease over the following two years, which means our big panda keepers will be capable of journey with Yang Guang and Tian Tian to China and assist them settle into their new houses.
“This will probably be excellent as they each have sturdy bonds with our panda workforce.”
Following complaints from animal rights teams resembling PETA over the repeated makes an attempt to impregnate feminine Tian Tian, the charity has confirmed that breeding is not going to be tried in the course of the remaining two years of the large pandas being in Edinburgh.
“A cub would have generated much more curiosity in big pandas and given Tian Tian an exquisite alternative to be a mom once more, after she gave delivery in China.” acknowledged Mr Subject.
“Nevertheless, pure and synthetic insemination breeding makes an attempt haven’t been profitable and now could be the time to maneuver on and simply get pleasure from having Yang Guang and Tian Tian with us for 2 extra years.
“We’re very pleased with the contribution we’ve made to massive panda breeding analysis alongside our companions on the College of Edinburgh and our findings have been of actual profit to worldwide efforts to guard the species.”
Following the pair’s deliberate departure in 2023, the zoo workforce confirmed that plans will probably be made to transform the large panda habitat on the zoo for a brand new species to reach.
“We face a biodiversity disaster and it is important that we develop our work to guard extra endangered animals around the globe,” Subject mentioned.
“It’s encouraging that the standing of big pandas within the wild has been moved by the IUCN from endangered to susceptible because of conservation efforts in China.
“Nevertheless, their conservation nonetheless faces many challenges, so we are going to proceed to make a considerable annual donation to assist this work whereas Yang Guang and Tian Tian stay with us.
“Many different animals nonetheless face the specter of extinction and we’re enthusiastic about working with a brand new species on the zoo.
“We’ll determine on the species over the following 12 months, with a vital issue being how we are able to assist conservation within the wild.”
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