Edinburgh panda taken off display due to illness
By Claire McKim
ONE of the giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo has been taken out of public display after falling ill.
Yang Guang, the zoo’s male panda, is suffering that notorious scourge of baby humans – colic.
The panda will spend some time out of public view while he recovers and his indoor enclosure has now been closed.
He has been put on a special medication and is expected to recover within the next few weeks.
Visitors to the zoo will still be able to see female panda Tian Tian, who is fighting fit.
Iain Valentine, Director of Research and Conservation at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Yang Guang is not on show today (Thu) as he has an episode of colic. It’s not very serious but can cause some discomfort.
“He’s on medication to relieve this and we’re mainly keeping him relaxed and indoors, although we expect he’ll go out sometimes to stretch his legs.”
Mr Valentine added: “These episodes can sometimes last up to a couple of weeks, so he may not always be on show over the next week or so. Alison, our panda team leader, and the veterinary department are keeping a close eye on him.
“Having discussed this with our colleagues in China, they reassure us this is not uncommon in pandas.
“Tian Tian is right as rain and remains on show daily”.
Yang Guang and Tian Tian are Scotland’s first giant pandas and arrived in Edinburgh just over a month ago.
On loan from China for ten years, it is hoped the eight-year-old pandas will eventually breed.
Colic is a fairly common ailment in giant pandas and baby pandas often need to be burped after a milk feed.
Pandas can suffer from a number of illnesses in their lifetimes such as epilepsy, pneumonia and the flu.
The giant panda is an endangered species and faces challenges of loss to its natural habitat and a low birth rate.
Colic is common condition for human babies and is characterised by persistent crying for extended periods of time for no specific reason.
Symptoms usually appear within the first month of a baby’s life and can last up to 12 months.
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