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Pandas a hit with YouTube viewers

They have a reputation for sleeping and eating but the UK's only giant pandas have now been showing off their climbing skills after keepers gave them new toys to play with.

Yang Guang and Tian Tian have been exploring their new climbing frames for the first time.

Male panda Yang Guang was said to be especially delighted to discover the frame in his enclosure, a reaction which staff at Edinburgh Zoo filmed and posted on YouTube.

The video clip shows the 18-stone animal deftly climb on to the frame and swing from the top by his back paws.

Staff at the zoo made the climbing frames especially for the pandas. Each frame has platforms, ramps and a tree house.

Alison Maclean, panda keeper at the zoo, said: "With little hesitation, Yang Guang bravely headed straight up on the roof of his tree house to explore.

"With curiosity to rival a cat, he smoothly manoeuvred himself to hang off the tree house, swinging head-first backwards and forwards, with only his back paws holding on to the roof above.

"Whilst rubbing his face with his front paws he looked like he was having a great time. But I must admit, I took a deep intake of breath at his boldness.

"It was a brilliant moment seeing Yang Guang inspecting his new climbing frame and showing typical panda behaviour. He even rolled around on the tree house roof, tummy to the sun.

Around 70,000 people have seen Tian Tian and Yang Guang since they were put on public display in December, more than three times the number which visited the zoo in the same period of 2010.


From Belfast Telegraph