Two eccentric creatures live the lives of the rich and famous at the Edinburgh Zoo. They demand bamboo worth £70,000 every year and live in luxurious suites costing no less than £275,000 annually. As if this wouldn't be enough, officials say the facility will have to pay £636,000 a year to Chinese authorities just for having them around.
These giant animals are quite picky when it comes to their daily diet. “Sweetie” and “Sunshine” require almost 18,000kg (over 39,000lb) of premium bamboo every year. And we're not talking about any kind of food, since they won't settle for anything less than products imported from an organic grower from Amsterdam, Daily Mail
Female Tian Tian “Sweetie” and male Yang Guang “Sunshine” have arrived yesterday from a conservation center in China, after an 11-hour flight. Their shelter meets all the safety standards and exceeds every imaginable level of comfort.
Designed and built under the close supervision of animal psychologists, their new home comes along with private pools, a huge platform and a special room in which the newly-arrived creatures can be checked by vets.
Moreover, both pandas can benefit from a “love tunnel” whenever they feel like cuddling and a nursery for their future babies.
Their arrival has made a lot of people eager to see the two celebrities that will be staying at Edinburgh Zoo for the next decade, according to the agreement signed with China. Zoo officials expect considerably increased profit margins, triggered by almost one million extra visitors.
Their strategy of boosting the numbers and popularity of the facility has been widely criticized by animal rights groups stating their action has a low educational and conservation value.
Despite this fact, Zoo representatives put all their hopes in a future baby panda. Even if its birth generates more than a few extra dollars, the cub would still be considered the property of China, according to their contract.
Apparently, the main goal is to encourage reproduction, so that panda offsprings could return in the middle of nature. The “Love” tunnel might do the trick, even if these creatures experience difficulties breeding in captivity.