Tuesday, 3 April 2012
A surprise panda visit.
Yesterday was Bethan's birthday and we braved the freezing wind and rain to visit Edinburgh Zoo. Extended services at Bethan's school had provided a very reasonably priced coach trip - all we had to do was buy the entrance tickets.
We had hoped to visit the Pandas, but there were no viewing slots left. However we were determined to have a good day and spent a good few hours looking at the different animals. Many of the big cats were asleep, apart from the Jaguar and the Tiger. The Zebra were huddled in a corner out of the biting north east wind. The Monkeys got a lot of interest from the children and Cai was obsessed with seeing the Penguins, they weren't in their normal enclosure, as it's having some work done to it, but we got to see them in a different one.
After seeing all of the animals, we discovered we could queue to see the pandas in a standby queue, and hope to get in. As the weather was soooooo cold and wet, some people who had booked Panda viewing had not turned up and we got to see the two Chinese Pandas; Tian Tian and Yang Guang. The keepers have been preparing the pandas for breeding. which is possible for just a few days in each year. The Pandas are solitary animals and have separate enclosures, so they had swapped enclosures to get used to each others scent. Tian Tian was asleep outside in her enclosure, while Yang Guang was busy eating. we saw him both inside and outside. He seemed very lively!
I'm glad we got the opportunity to go yesterday. Had we gone today we would not have been able to see the Pandas as they have been put into one enclosure in the hope that they will mate this week. Here's hoping that there will be baby Pandas in the not too distant future, helping keep this beautiful animal from becoming anymore endangered.