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Allegations of panda mistreatment false

By Yan Dongjie | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-22 08:47
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Giant panda Tian Tian. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian and their young cub Xiao Qiji are settling in well at their new home in Sichuan province after returning from the United States, according to a statement released by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda on Monday.

The center was responding to online allegations of "concealment and mistreatment" of the three giant pandas, stating that these claims are false.

It has shared videos of the three animals after their return to China on platforms such as Sina Weibo. The videos appear to show that Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and Xiao Qiji are in good health, and their eating habits and activity levels are normal.

The two adult pandas were born at the center's Wolong Shenshuping base in Sichuan — Tian Tian in August 1997 and Mei Xiang in July 1998. They were both sent together to the National Zoological Park in Washington in 2000.

Their cub, Xiao Qiji, was born at the zoo in August 2020. The panda family returned to Sichuan in November last year.

After completing their quarantine, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian moved into a sanctuary area at the research center's base in Dujiangyan, Sichuan. The area is not open to visitors.

Xiao Qiji is currently being cared for at the Wolong Shenshuping base, and has been greeting visitors since the end of last year.

China will send a pair of giant pandas to the San Diego Zoo in California this year, embarking on a new round of a 10-year international conservation partnership, according to an agreement for giant panda conservation signed in April by the China Wildlife Conservation Association and the San Diego Zoo.

China has selected male panda Yun Chuan and female panda Xin Bao from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, and has arranged for experienced caretakers and veterinarians to accompany them to the US.

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