Will Ueno Zoo’s Cute New Baby Panda Draw More Tourists to Tokyo?

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  • If you’ve been to the Ueno Zoological Gardens or Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, you are probably familiar with Shin Shin, the giant panda who attracts crowds owing to her sweet nature. Shin Shin arrived at the zoo with a pair named Li Li in 2011. They love spending their time together by dozing, eating bamboo, strolling, and climbing.

    Shin Shin gave birth in 2012 but the cub died of pneumonia a few days later. After five years, it gave birth to another cub – an event that increased not only the number of tourists flocking to the zoo recently but also the chance of investors in businesses located in the area.

    All About Shin Shin

    A visit to Ueno Zoo is never complete without encountering the 11-year-old panda named Shin Shin. Together with Li Li, Shin Shin was a gift from China to Tokyo. It is said that pandas are more than just sources of income for China; they are symbols of political will and are only loaned to countries planning for long-term trades. The pandas were originally kept in pens at the zoo entrance.

    Pandas are, by nature, difficult to breed. It is also quite hard to tell when a female is in the mood for love as they are bashful by nature. Shin Shin’s first cub was delivered in 2012. It was an unnamed male cub that spent most of his nights crying in his mother’s arms. He, unfortunately, died just six days after his birth.

    On June 12, 2017, Shin Shin gave birth to another cub which was later on identified as female. It is still unnamed and the government is thinking of collecting name ideas from the public. The cub was born pink, hairless, and weighing around 150 grams. As of now, black and white patterns are already developing in its fur.

    The Baby Panda’s Economic Impact

    After surviving the first 30 crucial days of her life, the baby panda is now steadily growing. Her birth is expected to bring out major changes in businesses near Ueno Zoo. For instance, Totenko Co., a Chinese restaurant company, claimed that there was a 38% increase in shares, particularly in its main outlet near the zoo. A nearby French restaurant (Seiyoken) has also reported an increase in sales. There’s a high probability that many tourists are actually flocking to the area eager to see the cute cub.

    Aside from that, this event is also assumed to further foot traffic, which means more business establishments will be built near the area. The number of visitors is expected to increase from 3.8 million in 2016 to 5.66 million in 2017 – a meaningful economic contribution.

    As of now, the baby panda is not yet on display as she is being monitored 24 hours a day. It is said that the zoo is waiting a few more months before showing her off to the public. Her appearance is also expected to become a major draw later on at the venerable Ueno Zoo.

    Ueno Zoo Website

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