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'Panda diplomacy': Two giant ursids leave Scotland to return to China

2023-12-04T13:36:19.470Z

Highlights: Two giant pandas have been loaned to the U.S. from China. The two pandas are expected to return to their native country in the next few weeks. They are the second pair to be loaned from China in the past year. The first pair was loaned in 2010. The second pair were loaned last year, but have not yet returned to their home country. The pair are due to return in the fall, but may have to wait until the end of the year.


Yang Guang, a male, and Tian Tian, a female, left Edinburgh Zoo on a cargo plane that will take them to the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province.


Two giant pandas loaned to the UK 12 years ago flew back to China on Monday morning, as diplomatic relations between London and Beijing cooled. Yang Guang, a male, and Tian Tian, a female, have left Edinburgh Zoo, who have been quarantined since early November in preparation for the trip, have left Edinburgh Zoo on a cargo plane that will take them to the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province.

Scientists have long hoped that the duo, who arrived in 2011, would take advantage of their stay in Scotland to breed, but they have not had a calf. Yang Guang and Tian Tian had been loaned as part of a 10-year deal between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the China Wildlife Conservation Association.

'Incredible impact'

The two pandas "have had an incredible impact, inspiring millions of people to care about nature," David Field, executive director of the RZSS, was quoted as saying by the PA news agency. They were the only specimens of the endangered species in the UK, which arrived thanks to Beijing's "panda diplomacy", which has spread its ursids across the planet to seal the improvement in its diplomatic relations.

But relations have become strained in recent years between China and some Western powers, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Last month, three giant pandas, loaned to the Washington Zoo since 2000, also returned to China. Four other pandas are also scheduled to leave Zoo Atlanta sometime in 2024.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-12-04

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