Following the recent official confirmation by Chinese Premier Wen that two Giant Pandas will be coming to Edinburgh by the end of this year, Edinburgh Zoo is set to welcome a party of experts from the Wolong Panda Breeding Centre in Sichuan Province.
The delegation, which is coming for a series of working meetings, will spend three days with Edinburgh Zoo’s specialist team looking at various areas of the project from animal welfare to research. They are visiting in advance of an official visit by the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association, due to take place in coming weeks. While in Edinburgh, the Wolong team will also visit the various research institutes with whom the Zoo works closely and which will be involved in the research aspects of the project.
Hugh Roberts, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “This visit is a significant milestone in the Giant Panda project, and an excellent opportunity to exchange information and ideas with the team who are currently responsible for Tian Tian and Yang Guang. We have been working hard on our plans for everything from housing the giant pandas to feeding them and their input will be invaluable in making sure we are on the right path. This is an exciting time and we are looking forward to giving our Chinese partners a warm Scottish welcome and a flavour of Scottish culture.”
The Wolong delegation will include the vice director of the centre and the head of international co-operation. While the visit is a private working meeting, the visitors will spend time getting to know the local area, climate and culture in which the pandas will live when they arrive later this year.