No More Winter Sunshine?

The withdrawal of Yang Guang (Sunshine) from public view with a bout of colic, just weeks after his long flight from China with Tian Tian (Sweetie) as part of a controversial ‘rent a panda’ programme, is a cause for concern we all share but must be of particular worry for the powers that be at Edinburgh Zoo.

Should anything more serious happen to the animals at the centre of this ill-advised scheme then the future of the zoo could be in doubt.

With 10 years costs of more than £7 million pounds (what could that do for wildlife conservation and habitat protection around the world) and no guarantee that visitor numbers will receive a desperately-needed boost (they were down by 15% in the last reported year), the zoo may yet rue the day.

Few zoos that have rented pandas in this way report a happy experience, either from a visitor number or financial point of view.

Our immediate concerns must be for Yang Guang’s welfare. Is his painful discomfort a result of the change in climate, the new food supply, heightened levels of stress? More fundamentally, why was this project ever undertaken in the first place?

Blogging off


PS You may have seen the BBC Natural World documentary highlighting the plight of the slow loris following a viral video on Youtube. It seems the video is fuelling the illegal pet trade and putting the endangered species at risk.

There is a petition calling for Youtube to remove the video here

12 Responses to “No More Winter Sunshine?”

  1. Jacqui Says:

    There is a saying “if it’s not broken why fix it”. Why didn’t they leave the Panda’s where they were. They are living and breathing animals and are not for rent. You rent inanimate objects.

  2. Claire Says:

    Animals should not to be used as a commodity. I’m so sickened that many believe that other creatures are here for our entertainment or as a resource for us to plunder.

  3. Kristina Bako Says:

    Why does this not surprise me ? Moving an individual (here: panda bear) around like a piece of furniture and expecting it to fit perfectly in its new surrounding. what happended to common sense ???

  4. Karen A Wilson Says:

    Tropical animals should not be in cold northern hemisphere zoos. It is cruel and unthinking to move the pandas from China to SCOTLAND ! Of course these misused animals are now showing illness. The extreme change in temperature will be alien and extremely uncomfortable to them. How unnatural and deviated. Just like humans, if animals are confused and unhappy mentally, their physical health will suffer. I wouldn’t be surprised if they die.

  5. Nette Webb Says:

    Just another example in a long list of exploitation of animals. It’s all about $$$.

  6. Mike Dooley Says:

    Could this be the start of some of the many problems associated with translocating pandas to zoos outside China?

  7. maryann murphy Says:

    i was so annoyed when these lovely animals were sent to the zoo in the first place,but now to have collick, i wish zoo’s would not do this,leave the poor animals where they were.I love animals so much, i would love to see zoo’s closed down,what a miserable life
    looking through bars and being gauped at all day.

  8. Rosario Rodríguez León Says:

    I’m so sad. If world was gentle to animals and people, then my happiness would be COMPLETE, I won’t never be totally happy because of terrible things like this.
    What a heartbreaking and horrible thing that animals are treated like inanimate property!!!! Their suffering and disregarded dignity disturb my mind, my heart! How many animals are IN JAIL now!!! Because zoos are jails!!!! It’s appalling!!! That’s why I can’t be doing nothing and I’m one of your many many members. DON’T GIVE UP, BFF!!! WE MUST GIVE ANIMALS A VOICE!!!!

    Ps.: I made the petition to remove such videos.

    I encourage people to do something! Respect and common sense should strongly bright on this world for everyone until every single individual animal is freed, we musn’t forget that we all DO have the power to change the world because WE MAKE AND ARE the world!

  9. Rosario Rodríguez León Says:

    Sorry, I’m writing again because I made a mistake in the translation from Spanish to English. When I said “I made the petition to remove such videos” I actually meant “I signed the petition…”

  10. Rosario Rodríguez León Says:

    Again, I’m so sorry.. When I said “That’s why I can’t be doing nothing” I just meant “That’s why I can’t STOP doing something…”
    So terribly sorry… My english’s not perfect but I try.

    But I’m writing again to express this: it’s so unfair that zoos are not seen, in full XXI century, for what they actually are: NON-HUMAN ANIMALS PRISONS!!! And then declared ILLEGAL!!!!
    All you get when you go to the zoo is to perpetuate speciesist look over the animals, to perpetuate their suffering, to finance the next slavery of the next animal, animal WHO will languish in the corner like everyone who was there before him!!!! SO DOLOROUS!!! NO CREATURE DESERVES A LIFE SO MISERABLE!!!!!
    Boycott the zoos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Cathy Cadden Says:

    It snow’s & get’s very cold & wet where the panda’s come from, The problem would be with inexperienced keeper’s, Who I am sure are dedicated to their very rare charges, They will have spent month’s reading & researched as much as can be found but no actual or very little practical experience. Stress & most importantly diet will have caused the problem, most likely something unfamiliar planted out that they have eaten. But I aggree, These animals should not be transported half way round the world for profit.
    The face of zoo’s is changing, Many are now part of worldwide conservation & breeding programs for endangered species without which many will cease to exist at all. In the main with a few poor exceptions these day’s Animals are very well cared for & looked after by their devoted keeper’s & in a well run zoo or animal park are given suitable surounding’s company & plenty of enrichment to keep them occupied. The dank inadequate cages & poor nutrition etc of the 60′s are thankfully gone from the UK

  12. christine Says:

    It’s all about money, everything is about money. Edinburgh Zoo wanted the panda to attract more visitors to get more money, it is not about conservation it is about egos. Sadly the pandas and probably other animals are suffering due to man’s greed, not the first time sadly and inevitably not the last.
    I don’t know what it is about the human race that tries to manipulate and manage nature to suit itself; we are so pompous and arrogant and always interfere with nature, if we left nature alone it would work itself out and if some species become extinct then that is God’s will, it is not up to us to play God and decide what may exist and what may not.