China / HK Macao Taiwan

New panda pair sent to Macao

By HUANG ZHILING (China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-01 07:29


New panda pair sent to Macao

A pair of giant pandas arrives in Macao on Thursday, where they will be quarantined for 30 days.[Photo/Xinhua] 

A brief farewell ceremony was held on Thursday for the second pair of giant pandas presented by the central government to the Macao Special Administrative Region.

After the ceremony at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan province, Ya Lin, a seven-year-old male panda, and Shu Rong, an eight-year-old female, headed for Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu.

The left on a flight at 2 pm and landed in Macao about two hours later.

Zhang Zhihe, head of the Chengdu base, said, "After a welcoming ceremony in Macao, the pandas were to be quarantined for a month before meeting the public on June 1."

In 1999, two pandas were sent to Macao as gifts to mark the 10th anniversary of China's resumption of sovereignty. The male, Kai Kai, is in good condition in Macao, but the female, Xin Xin, died from acute kidney failure and related conditions in June last year.

When President Xi Jinping visited Macao in December for celebrations marking the 15th anniversary of its return to China, he promised that two more pandas would be sent.

Zhao Fengxue, deputy chief of the State Forestry Administration, described the two new pandas as "a handsome boy and beautiful girl" chosen from more than 100 pandas at the Chengdu base.

Mao Min, a young keeper who accompanied the pandas to Macao on Thursday, said, "Experts first chose 10 pandas from more than 100. They finally chose two from this shortlist.

"The requirements for selection were age, posture, behavior and their mental condition."

Lan Jingchao, head of the animal hospital at the base, said, "Two keepers from the base arrived in Macao before the pandas left Chengdu. They will stay in Macao for six months and then another two keepers from the base will head to Macao to replace them."

Lan said Ya Lin and Shu Rong will have no difficulty in adapting to their new home in Macao, adding that much to his surprise the bamboo there appeared to be more delicious than that at the base.

Weighing 110 kg, Ya Lin has large black eyes and a huge appetite. Shu Rong also weighs 110 kg but is more docile.

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