Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Pandas settling in well at zoo

Giant Panda Yang Guang has been getting accustomed to his new enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo along with female Tian Tian
Giant Panda Tian Tian in her new enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo

Two giant pandas are settling in to their new home "extremely well" more than a week after arriving in the UK from China.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang have been exploring their outside enclosure after spending the first few days indoors acclimatising to their new surroundings of Edinburgh Zoo.

The eight-year-old breeding pair touched down in Scotland last Sunday on a chartered non-stop flight from China.

Tian Tian, the female whose name means "sweetie", and Yang Guang, meaning "sunlight", will spend the next 10 years at the zoo. They have been walking around their outside enclosures for the first time and stopped to greet each other through an adjoining gate.

Alison MacLean, the zoo's team leader of giant pandas and carnivores, said: "They've settled in extremely well. We couldn't be more pleased with them. Basically from the moment the travelling crate was opened, the male made the house his home. He went straight for the bamboo and sat down and started eating.

"The female took a wee while longer. She decided to check out everywhere within the enclosure and settled down for a snooze before eating bamboo. This is the second day they've been out and they're now just checking things out and scent-marking."

Yang Guang has been calling out for Tian Tian, the official added.

Ms MacLean said: "The female has gone over to the partition and met with him. It all went extremely nicely. They were very happy with one another.

"They had a little sniff at each other's noses, had a look at one another and the two of them put their paws up just to see what one another would do but there was no aggression, so it's been very good."

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