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Pandas Tian Tian And Yang Guang Greet Public At Edinburgh (Picture)

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The first giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years are going on show to the public.

Tian Tian and Yang Guang have been getting used to their new home at Edinburgh Zoo since arriving from China on Sunday December 4.

They spent their first few days indoors acclimatising before emerging to explore their outside enclosure.

Around 600 visitors are pre-booked to see the pandas on their first day in front of the public, a 200% increase on the usual gate numbers for a mid-December Friday.

Pre-booked numbers for the first weekend are up by about 80% on usual expectations for a pre-Christmas winter weekend, the zoo said.

Hugh Roberts, chief executive of Edinburgh Zoo, said: "Tian Tian and Yang Guang's arrival has been met by a wave of excitement and thousands have been anticipating the day they can finally see the giant pandas.

"Our dedicated team at the Zoo has worked tirelessly to create a world-class enclosure to house our newest additions, offering visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view these extraordinary animals."

Their arrival from Ya'an reserve in Chengdu, China, marks the end of a five-year effort to bring the animals to Scotland.

It is hoped that the eight-year-old breeding pair will eventually give birth to cubs at Edinburgh Zoo, which will be their home for the next 10 years.

The zoo has created a "Panda patrol" of 14 trained helpers to guide the expected influx of visitors from today.

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