7th Feb 2012 11:34am | By Editor
Visitor numbers to Edinburgh Zoo have soared 200 per cent thanks to the arrival of two pandas in December.
The cute pair, named Tian Tian and Yang Guang, have been seen by 70,000 people so far - more than three times the number that visited the zoo in the same period in 2010.
The zoo shop is also laughing all the way to the bank, having sold 1000 cuddly panda toys in honour of the star attraction - some at £40 a pop.
While visitors are not charged extra to see the pandas, they do need to reserve a time slot owing to the high demand.
Around 200 spaces are available for each half-hourly interval.
The pandas arrived in Edinburgh from Ya'an reserve in Chengdu, China on December 4.
They went on show to zoo visitors for the first time on December 16, after first getting used to their new home.
The pair returned to greet their viewing public last week after being removed from viewing, having fallen ill.
The male, Yang Guang (pictured), came down with colic, and was taken behind the scenes to recover in early January. Female Tian Tian was taken off show at the weekend with the same condition, but seems to have soon recovered.