Second panda removed with colic

THE female giant panda at Edinburgh Zoo has been removed from display after developing colic, the same illness that has afflicted her male companion.

Tian Tian was treated by a vet yesterday and is recovering out of public view. Yang Guang, the male panda, was diagnosed with colic earlier this month. He is said to be improving and is expected to be back on display tomorrow.

A spokeswoman for the zoo said: “Tian Tian has been under the weather. One of our vets has been to visit her and suspects she has a bit of colic, similar to Yang Guang but much milder.

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“She is being allowed time to relax privately away from public view. Yang Guang is expected to go back on public view on Monday.”

Yang Guang was said to be “brighter and more active” after the irritation caused by colic eased earlier this month. Zoo officials said the panda had already returned to eating large quantities of bamboo.

The male panda started feeling under the weather less than a month after the pair went on display at their new home at Edinburgh Zoo.

Bosses said the bears’ illness was not serious but can cause discomfort.

Colic is a common condition that, in humans, affects around one in five babies of both sexes. Its cause is unknown. The most common symptom of colic is excessive crying in a baby, which otherwise appears to be healthy and well-fed.

The zoo said all visitors with tickets for the panda enclosure have been refunded.

The spokeswoman said: “We understand some visitors will be disappointed. However, the welfare of our giant pandas has to be a priority.

“All visitors with panda tickets today have been fully refunded, welcomed into the zoo for free and invited to rebook for a suitable future date.”

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Yang Guang, whose name means Sunshine, and Tian Tian, or Sweetie, arrived in Edinburgh from the Ya’an reserve in Chengdu, China, on 4 December.

They went on show to zoo visitors for the first time on 16 December.

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