GIANT pandas have a reputation for sleeping and eating lots of bamboo, but today Edinburgh Zoo released a clip filmed by panda keeper Sharon Hatton that shows just how agile, strong and playful pandas really can be.
Edinburgh Zoo’s male giant panda, Yang Guang (Sunshine) went for a stroll outside and was delighted to discover a new climbing frame in his outdoor enclosure.
The Zoo’s in-house team recently constructed new outdoor climbing frames for their two giant pandas, one in each of their enclosures. The impressive bespoke ‘panda adventure climbing frames’ rival many children’s play parks with multi height platforms, ramps and roofed tree house.
Yang Guang was quick to explore and test the workmanship of his new toy and the magical moment was captured on film by one of his keepers Sharon.
Alison Maclean, panda keeper at Edinburgh 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!
“Pandas are extremely agile, often climbing trees and getting themselves into positions that seem almost impossible to us. 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. The feature is a fantastic addition to his outdoor enclosure and the climbing frames even offer Tian Tian and Yang Guang additional areas to shelter from the sun…or more likely rain! We hope to see them dozing happily on their platforms as warmer weather comes to Scotland.”
Yang Guang exploring his new climbing frame footage can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/hHxdRkYiSeQ