Chief Executive’s Blog

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment


Happy New Year to you all and I hope 2012 has been good to you so far.

Our pandas, particularly Tian Tian, have been in the news a lot since I last blogged.  On Christmas Day the two were treated to extra portions of panda cake and then promptly slept it off in their indoor enclosures!  It made for some great photographs for all the visitors who took time away from the presents and turkey to come to see our famous pair on Christmas Day. 

The festive season here at Edinburgh Zoo has been extremely busy, with Christmas Day seeing three times as many visitors as the previous year, and Boxing Day four times as many.  However the 27th December was by far the most popular day over the holiday period – seeing eight times as many people than the previous year come to visit us. 

A few days later Tian Tian our female panda was back in the news again when the BBC voted her one of their Women of the Year for 2011.  Although opinion was mixed, we were delighted to hear the news.  The BBC has always included a light-hearted entry for these awards.  We believe the award is a great reflection of how the people of the UK have taken Tian Tian and Yang Guang straight to their hearts and of just how high profile they have become.

Onto more panda news!  A lovely little girl of Chinese and Scottish decent, Tian Tian Brunton, was so delighted to hear that Tian Tian the panda was coming to Edinburgh Zoo, she put pen to paper to tell her all they had in common, reassuring her Scots are friendly people and offering to speak Chinese to her if she ever got lonely.  It was such a delightful letter, we invited Tian Tian Brunton and her little sister Lulu along for a special visit with our giant pandas.  We really hope it’s an afternoon that she’ll remember always.

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Our last animal birth of 2011 took place right on New Year’s Eve as Ellen and Otto the pygmy hippos gave birth to little Eve.  Mum and baby are doing well and we’re hoping Eve will take her first tentative steps into her outside enclosure over the next couple of weeks.

Now that 2012 is here, we have many more exciting things on the horizon.  As we announced at the end of last year, we hope Walker the polar bear will get a mate, we hope our two giant pandas will mate with each other, and we really look forward to telling you about lots of exciting updates and additions across both Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park.

Best wishes,

Hugh Roberts

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