Words by Abi Scaife
Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo will be travelling back to China in December 2023.
Goodbye, Pandas! Why the move?
Well, all pandas are - legally - property of China, where they originate from, and where they are seen as a national treasure. All pandas, no matter where they are, belong to the Chinese state - but sometimes they loan them to other countries and zoos.
Edinburgh Zoo was one such zoo, after passing rigorous tests, when they were able to have pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian on loan from China.
Yang Guang and Tian Tian cost something like £750,000 a year to loan. Ouch!
So what’s the deal?
It was hoped that Yang Guang and Tian Tian would become a breeding pair - but romance wasn’t in the air for these two furry creatures. Like all great romances, Edinburgh Zoo know there’s no sense in forcing it, and so the two are returning to their native China - where one can only hope they will find their soulmates.
Alison Maclean, the carnivore team leader at Edinburgh Zoo, will be heading back to China with them to help them settle into their new homes, and set them up for their bright new future!
This isn’t the end of the road for Yang Guang and Tian Tian - they can still help their species to thrive (just maybe with someone else).
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
Wildlife Justice Commission. This international foundation works to end animal trafficking around the globe. Find out more here.
Born Free. This is a wildlife conservation charity that’s passionate about wild animal welfare and Compassionate Conservation. Find out more here.
The Orangutan Project. This is a project run by two non-profits with one mission: to ensure the survival of all orangutan species in their natural habitat and promote the welfare of all orangutans. Support them here.