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Belgian zoo gets Xi's letter on panda twins' birthday

By Chen Weihua in Brugelette, Belgium | China Daily | Updated: 2023-08-18 07:36
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Four-year-old giant panda twins Bao Di and Bao Mei on Wednesday enjoy their birthday cakes in their new yard in Pairi Daiza zoo in Brugelette, Belgium. [Photo/Xinhua]

On Wednesday, Bao Di and Bao Mei celebrated their birthday in their new yard, drawing a huge crowd of visitors. The twins were separated from their mother 10 days ago, and all of them are adapting well to the change, said giant panda keeper Liu Yang.

"I am so excited about their birthday. They are like my children and give me a sense of accomplishment," said Liu, who has worked at several giant panda centers in China.

Robin, another panda keeper, said that taking care of giant pandas is "hard work", but he has loved every moment he has been at the zoo for the past eight years.

The twins were once "little babies" he held in his arms and are now "giant babies" weighing over 100 kilograms, he said, adding that he adores them both. "I have no favorite. ... They are my children."

Domb has been fascinated by Chinese culture and inventions since his childhood when his parents displayed Chinese porcelain and Tang Dynasty (618-907) sculptures in their home.

"My humble mission here in Belgium is to show the beauty of your country, not only the natural beauty … but much more than that — the soul of the Chinese civilization," he said.

Cao, the Chinese ambassador, described the giant pandas as "friendship envoys" and the symbol of good relations between China and Belgium. He said he was glad that the animals have been living happily in the zoo and are so loved by the Belgian people.

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