Adorable moment Edinburgh Zoo's pandas play outside in the snow

Snow day! Adorable moment Edinburgh Zoo’s pandas play outside in the snow amid warnings they could be returned to China next year amid Covid funding crisis

  • The footage shows a panda named Yang Guang enjoying the wintery conditions 
  • There are two giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo – Yang Guang and Tian Tian 
  • The pair could be returned to China next year due to a Covid funding crisis

Adorable footage shows a male panda rolling around in fresh snow at Edinburgh zoo.

Neil Gordon, from Edinburgh, took the sweet video during a visit last week and posted it on his social media.

The footage shows Yang Guang – one of two giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo – enjoying the wintery conditions and rolling around on his back down a slope.

There are two giant pandas at the now-closed Edinburgh Zoo – Yang Guang and Tian Tian.  

Yang Guang means Sunshine in Mandarin while Tian Tian means Sweetie. The two are the only giant pandas in the UK and are in the UK on a 10-year loan from China.

Adorable footage shows a male panda rolling around in fresh snow at Edinburgh zoo last week

The footage shows Yang Guang – one of two giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo – enjoying the wintery conditions and rolling around on his back down a slope

However there have been warnings that the pair could be returned to China next year due to a funding crisis.   

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs both Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park, faced enormous financial pressure when it was forced to close for three months during the summer.

Costing about £1 million a year to lease the mating pair – female Tian Tian and male Yang Guang – chief executive of the Society David Field says the charity will have to ‘seriously consider every potential saving’ including their giant panda contract. 

Mr Field said: ‘The closure of Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park for three months due to Covid-19 has had a huge financial impact on our charity because most of our income comes from our visitors.


Neil Gordon, from Edinburgh, took the sweet video during a visit last week and posted it on his social media

‘Although our parks are open again, we lost around £2 million last year and it seems certain that restrictions, social distancing and limits on our visitor numbers will continue for some time, which will also reduce our income.

‘We have done all we can to protect our charity by taking a government loan, furloughing staff where possible, making redundancies where necessary and launching a fundraising appeal.

‘The support we have received from our members and animal lovers has helped to keep our doors open and we are incredibly grateful.’

The coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs both Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park. Pictured: Male panda Yang Guang

The zoo was not eligible for the Government’s zoo fund, which was aimed at smaller zoos. 

Neil who took the footage said: ‘I took these photos and videos at Edinburgh Zoo of Yang Guang making the most of the snow on 2 January 2021.

‘Unfortunately, the chief executive of RZSS stated a couple of days ago that due to the impact of covid-19 on income this year, the pandas may have to return to China next year due to the expense of keeping them.’

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