LONDON — The two giant pandas living at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland were removed from public view this weekend after falling ill with colic, a zoo spokeswoman said on Sunday.
Yang Guang, the male panda, began suffering from the condition earlier this month and now Tian Tian, the female, has come down with a mild version.
To allow them time to relax and recover, the panda enclosure at the zoo, which has drawn thousands of visitors since the animals’ arrival from China in early December, was shut on Saturday and Sunday, the spokeswoman said.
Yang Guang is expected to return to public view on Monday, when his antics will also be streamed live via a webcam once again, but Tian Tian’s condition is still being monitored.
“We need to see how she is, but he’s almost certainly going to be back tomorrow,” a spokeswoman for Edinburgh Zoo told AFP.
It is not uncommon for the endangered animals to get colic, just as it is often occurs in human babies, but its cause is unknown.
Yang Guang, whose name means Sunshine, started suffering earlier this month but began recovering after passing a mucus plug, known as panda slime, which is produced in the bear’s large intestine to help ease the irritation of colic.
Tian Tian, whose name means Sweetie, began feeling “under the weather” on Saturday morning, zoo officials said, adding that she was “being allowed time to relax privately away from public view”.
The pandas live in separate but connected compounds in the zoo, and if Tian Tian is not feeling better, the public will be kept away from her on Monday.
“We understand some visitors will be disappointed, however the welfare of our giant pandas has to be a priority,” a statement from the zoo said, adding that visitors who had booked to see the pandas this weekend would be refunded.