Panda cubs move to Dutch palace

By Huang Zhiling | China Daily/Xinhua | 2017-04-12 07:00

Panda cubs move to Dutch palace

Giant panda Xing Ya is transported in the Wolong National Nature Reserve, Southwest China's Sichuan province, April 11, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Dutch zoo, with nearly 500,000 visitors each year, has built the most luxurious panda house in history for the two cubs, according to Qiu Yu, a center representative.

With an investment of nearly 7 million euros ($7.43 million), the panda house named Pandasia covers 9,000 square meters and looks like an ancient Chinese palace. It consists of areas for the cubs to sleep and play, for their future babies to live and a clinic.

The two cubs' five Dutch keepers have been trained in the panda center. The pandas are sure to get used to their new home in the Netherlands, as the species has a strong ability to adapt to new environments, said Zhang Hemin, a leading panda expert in the center.

Residents of Rhenen are waiting eagerly for the arrival of the little superstars.

Cakes with the image of pandas and panda-shaped candies can be found in local pastry shops. Supermarkets and streets are decorated with panda dolls and posters.

"It is the first time two pandas will head for a foreign country from Wolong since the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008," Qiu said.

The magnitude 8.0 earthquake destroyed the base of his center in Wolong. The base has been rebuilt with financial support from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.

The center has established ties for research with 13 zoos in 11 countries, sending 28 pandas abroad, Qiu said.

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