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First pictures show panda in new habitat at Edinburgh zoo


By Douglas Barrie, PA Scotland

The first pictures have emerged of Edinburgh Zoo's male giant panda in the bear's new habitat.

Yang Guang took his first steps outside in his new home on Wednesday after he and the female panda Tian Tian moved in last week.

The former Corstorphine Hospital next to the zoo is being redeveloped, meaning the pandas have been moved to ensure they feel no disturbance or vibrations from the building work.

Darren McGarry, head of living collections at Edinburgh Zoo, said: "It was fantastic to see Yang Guang out for the first time and exploring his new home.

"He was very excited to take a good look around, climb up the nearest tree and get up on the climbing frame."

Measures are being put in place to move or protect other animals close to the site, while the zoo's female panda Tian Tian also moved home last week.

The online panda cam has shown her enjoying the new habitat's indoor area.

Mr McGarry added: "Both our pandas need some time to get used to their new surroundings, so we are gradually opening outdoor viewing to the public over the next few weeks as they become more confident.

"Moving the pandas gave us an opportunity to apply what we have learned over the past eight years and make the most of the fantastic natural setting at the top of the hill."

Visitors to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) site are being advised to check the zoo's website for updates with a gradual public opening for the new habitat.

In April, Tian Tian was artificially inseminated during her annual health check in a new attempt to produce a cub.

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