HK plans open contest to name new giant pandas

Updated: 2007-03-20 17:21

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Secretary for Administration Rafael Hui said Tuesday that an open competition will be organized to invite the public to suggest names for the new pair of giant pandas as Hong Kong people's welcome gesture and their love towards the "national treatures."

Expressing his deepest gratitude to the Central Government and the State Forestry Administration for their tremendous support in selecting the new giant pandas for Hong Kong, Hui said details of the competition will be announced by the end of March.

The State Forestry Administration announced at a press conference held Tuesday morning in Beijing to give another pair of young and healthy giant pandas, as a gift to the HKSAR in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland.

The young couple, chosen from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong in southwest China's Sichuan Province, were both born in August 2005. The male weighs 60 kilograms while the female weighs 61 kilograms.

At the press conference, the State Forestry Administration also announced that the naming of the new giant pandas will be left to the HKSAR government.

"I am particularly glad to learn that the new pair of giant pandas meets all the requirements put forward by Hong Kong," Hui said, adding that he believed the new pandas would be able to fulfill their mission of building a happy family in Hong Kong.

Hui said the people of Hong Kong are looking forward to the arrival of the giant pandas. The HKSAR government and Ocean Park will continue to work closely with the State Forestry Administration and the Research Center on the necessary arrangements for the smooth and timely arrival of the pair of China's national treasures.

According to work schedule, the giant pandas will arrive in Hong Kong towards the end of April or early May.

After adapting to their new living environment in Ocean Park, the new giant pandas are expected to meet the Hong Kong public from July 1, 2007.

The Central Government of China presented the first pair of pandas, "An An" and "Jia Jia," to Hong Kong in 1999 as a gift to the HKSAR and resided at Ocean Park.

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