Image: © RZSS

Edinburgh Zoo Panda Pair Returning to China in December


Cale Russell


September 5, 2023 1:42 am


Edinburgh, Scotland, The United Kingdom

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) have announced that the giant panda pair, Yang Guang and Tian Tian housed at Edinburgh Zoo will be returning to China this coming December.

Yang Guang and Tian Tian have been housed in Edinburgh for the past 12 years helping to connect millions of people with nature.

When the pair came to Edinburgh Zoo in December 2011 they were welcomed as part of a 10 year agreement between RZSS and the China Wildlife Conservation Association. This was then extended for a further two years. The exact date of their departure is being finalized but is likely to be in the first two weeks of December.

Alison Maclean, carnivore team leader at Edinburgh Zoo said, “We are making arrangements with our partners in China for Yang Guang and Tian Tian to return in early December, possibly during the first week.

“Visitors to the zoo can expect to see them indoors and outside until the end of November, after which viewing will be outdoors only until they leave.

“Having cared for Yang Guang and Tian Tian since they arrived in 2011, I will be travelling back to China with them, to help them settle into their new homes.

David Field, RZSS chief executive, said, “With more than a million species at risk of extinction and our natural world in crisis, Yang Guang and Tian Tian have had an incredible impact by inspiring millions of people to care about nature.

“Through scientific research alongside the University of Edinburgh, we have also made a significant contribution to our understanding of giant pandas, which will be of real benefit to efforts to protect this amazing species in China.

“It is encouraging that in recent years the outlook for giant pandas in the wild has improved, which gives real hope for the future.”

RZSS intend to redevelop the giant panda habitat to house another species after their departure. This will be one which the zoo support in the wild.

“Our vision is of a world where nature is protected, valued and loved, which is why we have made an important pledge to reverse the decline of at least 50 species by 2030,” said Field.

“We have reached significant milestones recently with the release of wildcats, pine hoverflies and dark bordered beauty moths in the Scottish Highlands.

“With a fantastic home at Edinburgh Zoo, combined with our international expertise in conservation science and research, we have an opportunity to help protect a new species through public engagement here in Scotland and in the wild by working with global partners.”

Edinburgh Zoo Giant Pandas Returning to China

Giant panda Yang Guang is pictured in his habitat at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo . Image: © RZSS

Edinburgh Zoo Giant Pandas Returning to China

Giant panda Yang Guang is pictured in a tree within his habitat at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo. Image: © RZSS

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Meet one of the icons of conservation, the giant panda with our comprehensive fact file on this species.

About the Author

Cale Russell

Cale has operated The Animal Facts since 2012. During this time he has volunteered and worked across a range of Australian Wildlife Parks something he continues to today. He holds a certificate in Animal Care and Husbandry.

Our Favourite Giant Panda Fact!

The giant panda goes by many names. Locals call it the ‘bamboo bear’, Their scientific name, ‘Ailuropoda melanoleuca’ means ‘cat-foot black and white.’ Their Chinese name translates as ‘Giant Bear Cat.’

Image: © RZSS

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