I’ve not mentioned the two giant pandas in Edinburgh zoo lately, and it’s almost too late as they are off home next week. When they first arrived, the ticket sales must have exceeded the rent the zoo was paying (around £600,000 a year). Of course, the hope was that a bit of procreation would happen and the zoos = conservation story would come true. Alas, although the zoo proposed in all sorts of ways, the beasts declined to dispose. Nothing new there of course as they seem to be a species determined to die out. Here’s a link to the 2012 BBC story recording their arrival.
I read this week that once their departure was announced hundreds of clearly deranged fans dashed to Edinburgh to say their goodbyes. Although there was much jostling around the animals' enclosures, the accountants were happy.
As one of the best examples of endangered mega fauna there is, they will be a big hole for the zoo to fill. I'm tempted to suggest that certain Scottish politicians might take their place. They'd certainly be cheaper, but would anyone really be interested enough in their conservation to pay good money to see them?