Chief Executive’s blog

December 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Friday 16th December 2011

Today our giant panda enclosure opened up to members of the public.

At 9.15am a whole host of television cameras, press photographers and journalists gathered to see the reactions of the crowds when they caught their first glimpse of Tian Tian and Yang Guang.  The initial group of excited visitors began to gather, chatting with myself, press and our panda patrol greeters.  And then along with the very first person to book a panda ticket slot, who was Andy Mclean from Warrington, I had the pleasure of cutting the ribbon to celebrate.

A great moment, this was the next step in our panda journey here at Edinburgh Zoo, and it was a delight to see the anticipation and enthusiasm of our visitors in person.

Visitors were treated to Yang Guang in his indoor enclosure, munching away on his breakfast of bamboo, and Tian Tian in the outdoor part of her enclosure, exploring and taking in the morning sights and sounds.  It was lovely for all to observe the pandas in both environments.


There’s been a steady stream of visitors all day to meet our new black and white residents, and I look forward to many more people coming to get more acquainted with Sweetie and Sunshine over the weekend.

Tomorrow (Saturday 17th December) is a ‘Panda Family Fun Day’ at Edinburgh Zoo.  There are lots of activities from panda cupcake decorating, Chinese calligraphy or bamboo craft classes with the Confucius Institute, face painters transforming children in pandas, zebras and tigers and too much more to mention here.

If anyone wants to book tickets to see our giant pandas, please visit our website (or members’ portal for RZSS members) to book online and avoid disappointment.

Lastly, not everyone realises, but we’re actually open 365 days of the year.  So that means you can even visit our giant panda and other animals on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

Another one of our bears even made headlines again this week!  It seems that Walker the polar bear is becoming a real favourite.  We discovered that Walker was one of the tiny cubs featured in the cubbing den in the BBCs well-known Frozen Planet series.  Shown at only 10 weeks old, it was delightful to have an insight into his life at such a young age.

I think with all this attention on our other bears, the Sun Bears at Edinburgh Zoo will want their share of the limelight soon!


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