Six pandas from Sichuan province made their public debut on Tuesday at the Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangdong province. They joined six other pandas already at the park to form an Asian Games Panda Group. [Photo/Xinhua]
GUANGZHOU - A group of giant pandas made their public debut on Tuesday in this Guangdong provincial capital city, as celebrations begin in the run-up to the Asian Games.
The six young pandas, four males and two females, arrived at the Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park from Southwest China's Sichuan province on Oct 28. They joined six other pandas that were already at the park to form what has been termed an Asian Games Panda Group.
"Since their arrival last week, the six young pandas have become accustomed to the environment in Guangzhou," said Luo Bo, a panda expert at the Wolong National Natural Reserve in Sichuan, who accompanied the pandas to Guangzhou.
The six, named Hao Hao, Yun Yun, Jin Ke, Yin Ke, Bo Si and Shen Wei, were all born last year at the Bifeng Gorge Breeding Base in Ya'an, Sichuan.
They are currently being fed with bamboo leaves and shoots, milk, bread and fruit, said Luo, who explained that they are too young to eat bamboo poles.
Among the group of pandas that were already in residence at the park, Dong Dong has become the world's oldest panda. She was born in 1974 and, in panda years, is equivalent in age to a woman of 120.
A wild panda normally lives for about 20 years, while a panda that has been bred generally lives for about 30 years.
"The Asian Games are a special occasion for us to display China's endeavors to protect pandas. As most Chinese view pandas as symbols of good luck and happiness, we also wish the games a great success," said Dong Guixin, general manager of the park.
Dong said the park will try to provide the pandas with a similar environment to the one they had in Sichuan.
In preparation for their arrival, facilities in the panda center were renovated to create a larger living space.
"The center has now become a big amusement park for pandas, but we don't have plans to breed the pandas over the coming months," he said.
The six young pandas are due to stay in Guangzhou for a year.