Yet again the female panda at Edinburgh Zoo has been artificially inseminated and yet again it appears that she has failed to produce any cubs.
I’m not a fan of zoos and really not comfy with this idea of captive breeding. I know some people would argue that it is the only way to prevent some species from becoming extinct, but is it really ethical. I’m not sure.
What I believe to be unethical is Edinburgh Zoo’s deal with China regarding the pandas. The zoo pays the Chinese authorities £600,000 ($1million) per year for what is basically rental of these gorgeous animals. That’s a huge amount of money which could have been put to great use for conservation work here in Scotland.
Up until a few years ago Edinburgh Zoo suffered badly from falling visitor numbers – it has been claimed that this cost the zoo £1million so it seems pretty clear that the pandas have been ‘rented’ to boost visitor numbers.
The zoo have denied this saying they would not use the pandas as a commodity – after all they are a registered charity.
But, considering the zoo charges £16.50 for an adult ticket and has seen visitor numbers rise by 200% since the pandas arrived, I find this explanation a little hard to swallow.