Chengdu set to receive panda from France

2023-07-19 08:20:39China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has completed the necessary preparations to welcome Yuan Meng from France, the base said on Tuesday.

According to the Sino-French giant panda cooperation research agreement, Yuan Meng, whose trip was delayed due to the COVID-19 epidemic, will arrive on July 25, the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens said.

The giant panda cub, France's first-ever, was born in August 2017 at the Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher, Centre-Val de Loire.

His parents, Huan Huan and Yuan Zi, were transported to the zoo in 2012 from Chengdu, marking the start of a 10-year collaborative conservation research project between the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens and the Beauval Zoo in France.

The success of the program led to their cooperation being extended until January 2027, the association said.

To ensure Yuan Meng's safe and smooth trip to China, Chinese and French authorities have exchanged information about the panda's living habits, feeding, behavior training and health status, the base said.

It has been agreed that two of the zoo's French personnel will escort Yuan Meng to China, bringing along a suitable amount of his favorite foods to ease the transition.

In preparation for the panda's quarantine, the base has prepared a dedicated quarantine facility that has been approved by customs.

It includes an indoor enclosure, an outdoor exercise area and a feed processing room. The indoor enclosure has air conditioning.

During the quarantine, experienced keepers and veterinarians will be responsible for feeding, caring for and monitoring Yuan Meng's health, and they will accompany him throughout the monthlong quarantine period to help him adjust to life in China.

During Yuan Meng's stay in France, the Beauval Zoo organized a birthday celebration for him, created giant panda web pages and developed educational programs on giant pandas for primary and middle school students, the association said.

"The French people's genuine love for giant pandas has enhanced the friendship between the peoples of China and France," said Yu Zeying, secretary-general of the association.

The extended collaboration and deepening scientific research will enhance the conservation efforts for endangered species and strengthen cultural exchange, she said.

The two sides have closely exchanged technical expertise.

Every six months, Chinese experts visit the Beauval Zoo to provide guidance on the management, feeding and disease prevention of the pandas, the association said.

During the breeding season, groups of Chinese experts were dispatched to offer guidance.

So far, through joint efforts, three of the four cubs born at the Beauval Zoo have survived.

Since 2017, the zoo has provided equipment, including GPS collars and medical treatments, to the Chengdu base to support the release of captive pandas into the wild.

"Scientific research and technology exchanges are of great significance to the conservation of endangered species, including giant pandas. They also promote cooperation and friendly relations between China and France in the field of wildlife protection," Yu said.

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