Yang Guang: Edinburgh Zoo’s Relaxed Panda

Way back in 2012, I managed to take this picture of the giant panda Yang Guang (Sunshine) at Edinburgh zoo.


It’s become one of my favourite photos to show people. It’s usually met with a laugh and a smile, and then the question “how did you manage to get that photo?”. I thought I’d tell that story today.

It was October 2012, and my friend Mark and I took his son to Edinburgh Zoo. I hadn’t been there in a while, and they had not too long became hosts to two giant pandas in late 2011. There had been a lot of hype over seeing them, so we expected the tickets to their enclosure to be sold out. Thankfully, it was a quiet afternoon so we managed to pick some up.

A lot of people ask me “how did you manage to get the panda to pose like that?”, as if I have some magic animal powers. The reality is, he was just lying like that when I got there. It’s a classic case of being in the right place at the right time. Don’t believe me? Here’s a few more shots I got that afternoon.




Of course, we managed to see Tian Tian (Sweetie) as well.panda-blog-october-25-2012-8-of-10

I’m sorry the story isn’t more exciting than that. I’d like to say I had exclusive access to the panda enclosure and hours of time to get the photo, a cunning display of exceptional photoshop skills, or even just that I have magic animal powers, but it was simply just as it happened. I’ll leave you with a handfull of more photos from that day, almost five years ago.





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