Edinburgh Zoo has confirmed that work has begun on the construction of an enclosure to house the Dalai Lama when he arrives there in the summer on loan from the Chinese.
‘We’re building it on vacant land opposite our Giant Panda exhibit to create a new ‘Tibetan Experience’ attraction,’ a spokesman told a packed news conference. ‘Early indications are that this rare and reclusive creature could prove even more popular than its neighbours, Yang Guang and Tian Tian.”
The Dalai Lama (scientific name Tenzin Gyatso) has been threatened by the destruction of its natural habitat in Tibet and is believed by some to be the last of its kind. However zoo bosses are hopeful that they can start a reincarnation programme and hope they will eventually be able to reintroduce the colourful creatures back into their natural habitat when conditions there allow.
‘The Dalai Lama has been in captivity previously and we are confident that it will settle in well in our state-of-the-art facility designed to recreate the hillside habitats of its homelands. The cost of the project will be offset be increased visitor numbers and sponsorship deals.’ The zoo spokesman explained. ‘We’ve already been approached by a toy manufacturer keen to supply us with cuddly toys of his Holiness to sell in our gift shops, and the Chinese government is paying us millions to keep him safely locked up for as long as possible.’
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