Tam's Tall Tales

- A Panda Cub for Edinburgh Zoo

Giant Panda Tian Tian via Wikimedia Commons

Far From Smooth Romantic Affairs of Yang Guang and Tian Tian
Tian Tian (picture here via Wikimedia Commons) has finally done it - the giant panda is due to deliver her cub in late August. As the Rampant newsroom is almost within site of the pandas' enclosure (just the other side of Corstorphine Hill, about a mile away ) your correspondent has a special interest in this one.

The saga is a long one. Yang Guang and Tian Tian's romantic affairs have been far from smooth. The mating season is between March and May, when female pandas go into oestrus, which lasts for two or three days and only occurs once a year. The pregnancy itself ranges from 95 to 160 days. Last year there was a possible pregnancy that fizzled out. This year it is game on for a new panda and one hopes that this will add visitors to the zoo who have to stump up 70,000 per year in bamboo shoots flown in from the Netherlands.

The new addition will, I hope, appreciate the lack of aircraft noise from the nearby Edinburgh Airport. Pilots have been asked to avoid the zoo, not just for the benefit of the expectant giant panda but also so as not to disturb the zoo's fine collection of penguins who are also going into their breeding season.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
May 2014

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