Giant Pandas On Their Way To Edinburgh Zoo
The first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years will arrive at their new home within days.
Tian Tian and Yang Guang will arrive in Edinburgh from the Ya'an reserve in Chengdu, China, on Sunday.
The breeding pair will fly into Edinburgh Airport to begin their 10-year stay in Scotland.
The date was confirmed ahead of the Scottish First Minister's visit to China.
Alex Salmond said the pandas could expect "the warmest of Scottish receptions".
He said: "I will be in China myself on the day they arrive, signing a cultural exchange agreement with the Chinese, and I am sure all Scotland will be delighted to welcome Tian Tian and Yang Guang with the warmest of Scottish receptions awaiting them.
"Having the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo is a considerable honour and will be a huge draw for visitors and will give a welcome boost to the economy and to tourism.
"Securing the loan of the pandas symbolises the great and growing friendship between Scotland and China and a testament to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's world-class reputation for research, science and conservation.
"It is a fantastic opportunity to further strengthen our business, cultural and diplomatic links with China and for people in Scotland. We particularly want our young people to learn more about pandas and we have an exciting education programme to bring alive the many wonderful learning opportunities offered by the pandas' 10-year stay in Scotland."
Breeding pair Tian Tian - meaning "sweetie" - and Yang Guang - meaning "sunlight" - were born in 2003. The animals will live in Edinburgh Zoo for 10 years under the care of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.