Yang Guang, a male big panda, has been at Edinburgh Zoo since 2011 – Copyright AFP Andy Buchanan
It was speculated to be a match made in heaven that might produce a cub, however after years of making an attempt, Edinburgh Zoo stated on Wednesday that it’s now sending its breeding pair of big pandas to China.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) stated it plans to present Yang Guang (“Sunshine”) and Tian Tian (“Sweetie”) a “big farewell” on the zoo earlier than their departure later this 12 months.
“Because the UK’s solely big pandas, they’ve been extremely in style with guests, serving to to attach tens of millions of individuals with nature and elevating important funds for wildlife conservation,” stated chief government of RZSS, David Discipline.
“We are going to present as many alternatives as doable for folks to say goodbye and have fun the massive affect these two charismatic bears have had on our communities, serving to to create a world the place nature is protected, valued and beloved.”
Yang Guang and Tian Tian arrived in Edinburgh in December 2011 as a part of a 10-year take care of the China Wildlife Conservation Affiliation.
The favored couple even had a particular tartan created of their honour, in black, white and grey to symbolize their pores and skin, and crimson to represent China.
Nevertheless it quickly turned clear that the 2 had no want to breed. Zoo officers failed in an try and artificially inseminate Tian Tian in 2013.
Yang Guang was later castrated after being handled for testicular most cancers.
– Eats sprouts and leaves –
Large pandas are notoriously tough to breed in captivity, because the bears both lose curiosity in mating naturally, or just do not understand how.
A feminine panda has a single estrous cycle within the spring when she is barely fertile for twenty-four to 36 hours, in accordance with the conservation group Pandas Worldwide.
Makes an attempt to breed pandas in captivity started in China in 1955. In 1963, Ming Ming, the primary captive-bred big panda, was born on the Beijing Zoo.
Pandas are discovered within the wild in southwestern China alongside the Tibetan Plateau.
Their inhabitants has been decimated by poachers, who hunted them for his or her skins and likewise by unlawful logging, which damages the expansion of bamboo, their principal meals supply.
Pandas Worldwide estimates that the wild big panda inhabitants is at present 1,864.
There are roughly 600 in captivity in panda facilities, zoos and wildlife parks around the globe.
Edinburgh Zoo stated Yang Guang and Tian Tian may go away the Scottish capital as early as the tip of October 2023, two years after their mortgage was prolonged.
“By collaborating with companions in China and welcoming Yang Guang and Tian Tian to Scotland, we’ve had many successes over…the final 11 years by way of sharing strategies, scientific analysis and public engagement” , Discipline stated.
“We’re additionally very pleased with the contribution we’ve made to analysis into big panda breeding along with our companions on the College of Edinburgh and our findings have been of actual profit to worldwide efforts to guard the species” .