Tickets for a range of special events at Edinburgh Zoo have sold out in less than 90 minutes. The events are the UK public’s last chance to spend time with pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang before they return to China late in 2023.
Tickets went on sale at 10.15am on Monday and had completely sold out by 11.30am the same morning.
Panda fans dropped anywhere from £29 to £500 ($35 to $600+) to secure access to various events taking place over the course of this year.
For £29 ($35) supporters will get their spot at “Pandas and Pancakes” – a one hour guided tour ending at the panda enclsoure, followed by breakfast (though not with the pandas themselves!).
“Bamboo Brunch” comes in at £48.50 ($60) and is very similar to pandas and pancakes, but generally at more peak times.
Those who were lucky enough to be able to spend £500 (over 600 USD) will enjoy “Panda Magic Moments” – a chance to meet and interact with Tian Tian and Yang Guang in a private event sealed off from the public.
Don’t worry, if you’re upset you missed the chance to get your tickets, there are still a few left for the “Directors Tour of Edinburgh Zoo” – which includes a “guaranteed chance to meet and feed a giant panda”. All yours for just £2500 per person ($3080!).
The limited number of tickets might mean it’s not good news for everyone, but the sell out success is a win for pandas and wildlife everywhere. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) that runs Edinburgh Zoo proudly reported that ticket sales had raised over £42,000 ($51,000+), all of which will go towards helping conservation efforts spearheaded by the charity.
The RZSS have praised the panda pair for their role in promoting conservation efforts, they’ve been a cornerstone of the zoo’s success for over ten years.
It’s not easy to say goodbye and even the Scottish government has stepped in to try and save the pandas future in the UK. Member of Parliament for Edinburgh, Christine Jardine, wrote to the Chinese earlier this year to ask them to indefinitely extend the panda loan so that Tian Tian and Yang Guang could stay put.
“Tian Tian and Yang Guang have become used to their environment and routine having been in Edinburgh for over ten years. It would be detrimental to their emotional, spiritual and physical welfare for them to be moved after such a long period of time.”
There has been no answer from the Chinese, but they’re unlikely to change their mind on the original loan agreement again, after already having extended the pair’s stay by two years due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Sadly during their 12 years in Scotland, Tian Tian and Yang Guang have not become parents and China will be keen to bring the two home for study as part of their extensive and world leading breeding programmes.