Happy New Year – looking forward to a great 2011

January 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Its been a snowy and cold Christmas and New Year at the Zoo but plenty of activity with our penguins and other animals and we were delighted that lots of you took advantage of our special £5 entry offer and we hope to see you at the Zoo throughout the year.

We are very excited with the news announced today, 10th January, that RZSS has concluded the deal to bring giant pandas to Edinburgh.  The giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yangguang, a breeding pair born in 2003 will be housed in what was once the Zoo’s gorilla house as soon as it is practical to do so, later this year.

giant pandas are iconic of both China and conservation

The historic agreement to bring the pandas to Edinburgh was signed between RZSS and the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association at Lancaster House in London, witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and Vice Premier of China, Li Keqiang.

We will be the only zoo in the UK with giant pandas, they were last seen in London 17 years ago, and in fact less than 10 countries outside China have giant pandas. For us though its much more than the pandas, we not only become recognised as one of the world’s top zoos, but we will be working in China and with others on research and conservation associated with giant pandas and other species.

The old gorilla house, with its two large external areas, will, with modifications we are making, be an excellent environment for the pandas, and provide a great opportunity for people to see these iconic animals.

We are also looking forward to welcoming many more visitors to the Zoo and attracting more people to visit Edinburgh and Scotland as Culture and External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop said: “ Edinburgh Zoo has a world-leading reputation for animal conservation and I am delighted that Scotland has been chosen to take part in China’s breeding programme for giant pandas.

“The agreement gives Scotland an important role in securing the future of this endangered species. As well as supporting China’s work to protect these animals, the arrival of the pandas is expected to bring significant economic benefits for Scotland in terms of tourism, attracting hundreds of thousands of additional visitors to the Zoo”.
New Year Resolutions, New Starts, New Activities … And more… we have lots of plans and ideas for other animal changes and developments in due course, watch this space… and no doubt our penguins will give us plenty of chicks again this spring, and maybe we’ll have breeding success with other species too.
The work to get giant pandas has taken years, so we really do appreciate the support our visitors, members, volunteers and staff give us year in year out, as well as your patience. We hope to see you throughout the year, and if you have any spare Christmas money, what about putting it towards a membership or adoption…
Keep an eye on the blog over the coming weeks and months… lots more news and events to share with you.

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