Panda pregnancy driven by profit, slams charity

Panda cropped

Is zoo's panda being exploited?

Graham Martin's photo

25th August 2017 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Edinburgh Zoo’s drive to make its panda Tian Tian give birth to cubs is driven by gate receipts rather than conservation.

That’s the view of an animal rights group, which hit out after the zoo announced that its panda might be pregnant.

The zoo, a registered charity, is suspected to be pregnant after being artificially inseminated.

This is the fifth time the animal has undergone the procedure – with each previous attempt failing.

One Kind, an animal welfare charity, said the zoo is motivated by “PR and gate fees”.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “This poor panda cub will never be introduced to the wild and will only ever know a life in captivity.

“To make matters worse, to produce a cub, Tian Tian has been subjected to repeated invasive procedures since coming to Edinburgh.

“This has not been in the interest of pandas or conservation, and appears instead to be driven by the pursuit of PR and gate fees.

“If you want to help pandas, you don't need to go and see one at a zoo. Just make a donation to conservation charities conserving pandas in their natural habit instead.”

A spokesman for RZSS Edinburgh Zoo said: "Giant panda breeding is a very complicated process but we believe that Tian Tian is pregnant.

"Although a specific date was suggested, like all babies it's hard to predict precisely and the panda breeding season can last until late September.

"Tian Tian is being closely monitored by our expert team and we will be the first to share any news as soon as we can."