Mon, Feb 02, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Taipei Zoo to give panda visitors more time: official

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Zoo will cut the number of visitors to the Panda Hall starting today to give each visitor more time to see the two giant pandas amid complaints that people were being rushed.

Starting today, the full daily capacity of the Panda Hall will be lowered from 22,000 to 19,200 visitors. The time allotted to each visitor will be increased to more than 14 minutes, Taipei Zoo director Jason Yeh (葉傑生) said.

Yeh said the zoo expected the number of visitors to the hall to drop after the Lunar New Year holiday. Lowering the full capacity and giving each visitor more time in the hall would also help end visitors growing complaints about being rushed through the exhibit, Yeh said.

The zoo will also consider putting the two pandas, Tuan-tuan (團團) and Yuan-yuan (圓圓), in the outdoor display area after the weather gets warmer, Yeh said.

Visitors would get a better view of the two pandas if they were in the outdoor display area, he said.

In response to concerns that the pandas were startled by camera flashes, the director said visitors were following orders and cooperating after the zoo asked them to turn off their flash when taking photos.

Zoo officials said the total number of visitors to the zoo reached a peak of 41,508 on Thursday. Yeh said the weather played a major role in the number of visitors to the zoo.

Normal operating hours (9am to 5pm) will resume today. The zoo encouraged visitors to call 02-2920 8889 ext. 8800 to find out how many Panda Hall visitors’ slips remained before heading to the zoo.

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