Second Level - Suggested Activity

Background Notes for Teachers

Pandas are native to China and are seen as a national treasure. In the 1960s and 1970s, when China decided it should improve its international relations, pandas were gifted to the former Soviet Union, the USA and the UK to ease tensions between the east and the west.


In the 1980s China moved away from gifting pandas and instead started to loan them out. The panda lending rules are simple. A zoo can have a panda, or pair of pandas, for a loan period of 10 to 15 years, after which they are returned to China. It costs around £600,000 a year to rent the pandas and the money is payable to the China Wildlife Conservation Association to help maintain the panda breeding programme.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland not only sends funds to CWCA for the loan of Tian Tian and Yang Guang but also leads comprehensive research and education programmes.