Panda hanky panky to be hidden from public

Members of the public will be able to view Yang Guang

EDINBURGH Zoo’s eagerly-awaited pandas will be captured on CCTV and streamed to online fans – but the bears’ boudoir will be strictly off-limits.

To spare the blushes of the creatures, the indoor area of the £300,000 enclosure will not be available for nosey Panda watchers to view online.

And that means if the bracing Scottish air puts the Pandas in an amorous mood, they can do what comes naturally in private.

A spokesman for the zoo said: “The enclosure will allow them to have their private areas. It’s to give them as many options as possible in terms of whether they want to be in the public view or not.”

The spokesman said the camera ban would also allow the animals to be treated out of the public gaze.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang will be flown into Edinburgh from their native China.

The date of their public debut is still unknown but it was reported yesterday the planned arrival before Christmas has been put back to the New Year.

The bears will have separate outdoor areas, but will share an indoor environment.

The public will be able to view live video from male panda Yang Guang’s enclosure a panda-cam online.

Members of the Royal Zoological Society Scotland will be able to see a special feed showing female Tian Tian.

The shared area will be off-limits to the public.

There will be one camera placed in each outdoor enclosure, with a video feed being available during daylight hours.

The zoo says it will review the locations of the cameras after six months.


It is understood there will be a short period of opportunity for the bears to breed in February.

Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of the Zoo, said: “Our panda-cams will provide an easily-accessible medium for people across the world to watch, in close-up, one of the world’s most endearing creatures.

“Education is at the forefront of Edinburgh Zoo’s role in supporting giant panda conservation, and our panda-cams will allow a wider, global audience to learn more about these elusive animals.

“It means that, wherever you are, you will have the chance to be part of Edinburgh Zoo’s panda experience – even if you can’t make it to the Zoo in person.

“We hope that our viewing site will spark a global panda debate, proving that our pandas have a genuine world-wide impact and appeal.”

Edinburgh Zoo’s ‘penguin cams,’ a similar video feed which was launched last winter, was viewed more than 200,000 times in November.

The pandas are currently in quarantine in China.

The bill for their food supply of bamboo is expected to come to £70,000 per year, with the plant being imported from the Netherlands.

The panda enclosure will feature a climbing frame, surrounded by bulletproof glass which will allow 600 spectators an hour to see the animals.

Once the pandas arrive, they will be given time to ‘settle in’ before they are introduced to the public, online and in-person.

The animals are being released to Edinbrugh Zoo as part of a captive breeding programme. The deal with the Chinese authorities was announced in January this year.

The arrival of the bears is expected to bring a surge of visitors to the attraction.

Edinburgh Airport will be putting special security measures in place to ensure the transfer of the animals when they arrive on Scottish soil.