How much would you pay to get up close and personal with a panda?
- Filed under:
Not many people would dream of getting into a zoo enclosure with a wild animal - but at Edinburgh Zoo they see things a bit differently.
In fact, they're going as far as charging visitors £1,000 for the privilege.
The launch of a new "experience" at the zoo means that visitors now have the chance to get up close and personal with Britain's only pandas.
For £1,000, you get to spend and hour in an exclusive private encounter with Tian Tian and Yang Guang, as well as a one-to-one meeting with a zoo keeper who will give you the lowdown on all their secret habits.
"People will be able to see the giant pandas at very close proximity in the private area of their enclosure - which isn't on show to the public," said Darren McGarry, Head of Animals at Edinburgh Zoo, at the launch.
Pandas are usually peaceful animals - they spend most of their time eating bamboo and sleeping. But there have been cases of pandas in captivity attacking humans.
Back in 2009, a panda at Beijing Zoo took a bite out of a visitor who inadvertently fell into the enclosure while trying to catch one of his young son's toys.
The same panda, named Gu Gu, had already bitten two other people: a 15-year-old boy who had climbed into the enclosure to get a closer look, and a drunk tourist who tried to give it a hug.
Of course, it's clear that Tian Tian and Yang Guang are far better behaved, but we're wondering just how many people are going to take the zoo up on its offer...
If you have a grand to spare and want to book a private panda encounter, you can call 0131 3140327 or visit rzss.org.uk.
What do you think of this story? Would you pay to give a panda a cuddle? Give us your opinions below!
Sign up to our weekly newsletter | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook