Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh Zoo panda enclosure to have nursery for cubs

Edinburgh Zoo panda enclosure (artist impression)
Image caption Tian Tian and Yang Guang will live in separate enclosures because pandas are solitary creatures

It has emerged the new panda enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo is being built with panda cubs in mind.

Two pandas, Tian Tian and Yuang Guang, are due to arrive from China later this year.

About £250,000 is being spent creating a perfect home for the pair. It will have pools, caves, climbing structures and even its own nursery.

Both pandas have successfully bred before and it is hoped they could produce further offspring.

It is expected the pandas will generate huge public interest and the new enclosure has been designed to accommodate 600 spectators per hour.

The zoo's facilities manager, Marty Hall, said: "We have a large expanse of glass to give views into the panda nursery, which is what people want to see."

Image caption The glass walkway will allow people to see into the panda nursery

He said the rest of the enclosure was also designed to be friendly to young cubs so they do not hurt themselves if they fall.

Each panda will have its own space because they are solitary animals in the wild and only come together to breed.

The enclosure is due to be completed in July and will have to be inspected and approved by experts from China.

The animals spend much of their time eating bamboo, and the zoo expects it will cost about £6,000 a month to keep them.

It is hoped the cost will fall if the zoo manages to grow its own bamboo supply in the future.

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