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Daily Record
Daily Record
Alexander Smail

Edinburgh Zoo visitors could win last chance to feed giant pandas before return to China

Edinburgh Zoo has announced that certain visitors will be allowed to feed its giant pandas before they return to China.

Yang Guang and Tian Tian will both leave the capital later this year, and to celebrate their time at the zoo, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has launched a series of prize draws for an exclusive opportunity to feed them before they say goodbye.

Every month between February until June, the wildlife conservation charity will randomly select one winner to enjoy a 'Magic Moment' for two with the rare black and white bears. Additionally, a final competition for a 'top-secret' panda-themed grand prize will be announced during the summer.

Yang Guang and Tian Tian arrived in Edinburgh in December 2011 as part of a 10-year arrangement between RZSS and the China Wildlife Conservation Association, which was extended by two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The giant pandas could leave the capital as early as the end of October 2023, with travel details to be confirmed closer to the time.

The Crowdfunder prize draws, which will raise funds to help RZSS reverse the decline of 50 species by 2030, also have options to earn rewards for donations over £5, including having names dedicated on a panda paw print at the zoo.

RZSS chief executive David Field said: "We are delighted to give people a chance to win these unique experiences and raise vital funds for wildlife conservation in Scotland and around the world with our new monthly prize draws.

A few lucky visitors will be given the chance to feed the adorable bears (RZSS)

"Yang Guang and Tian Tian have helped to inspire millions of visitors to protect, value and love nature and we want to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to say goodbye and celebrate the incredible impact they have had."

Limited Panda Magic Moments — which include exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the animals — went on sale to RZSS members, patrons, and giant panda adopters in January, selling out in a matter of hours.

Bespoke 'Directors Tours' are still available, and the charity is planning wider activities with community groups and schools.

Field continued: "The support of RZSS members, patrons and adopters has been vital, especially in recent years, and we want to thank everyone who already booked an experience and is helping to protect wildlife across the globe.

"We are only able to offer an incredibly limited number of giant panda experiences before the pair return to China, so this really is a rare opportunity."

After the pandas leave, RZSS will decide on a new species, with a crucial factor being how the charity can support conservation in the wild.

More information about the prize draw can be found on the Edinburgh Zoo website. Entries cost £5 each.

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