Funi (pictured) and Wang Wang have brought tourists to Adelaide Zoo - and a decade of debt. Picture: The Advertiser
(News.com.au) -ADELAIDE Zoo has a giant panda debt it will be paying off for a decade, the non-profit conservation charity says.
On the first anniversary of the pandas' Adelaide debut, Zoos SA chief executive Dr Chris West said the zoo was "not floating on a sea of panda dollars" and borrowed $6.7 million to turn the dream into reality, reported AdelaideNow.
"We are a charity, bringing very significant tourism revenue into South Australia but we are not loaded ourselves," he said.
"We are stretched - against a balanced business plan - and will be repaying the bank for a while. The time-frame for paying off the panda debt depends on several factors including visitation, other revenue and panda babies, but at the current rate it looks like it will be closer to 10 years than to five."
Giant pandas Wang Wang and Funi are on loan from the Chinese Government for 10 years.
The Federal Government is paying $1 million each year to the Chinese Government for the international breeding program that aims to save the critically endangered species.