Two giant pandas "Sihai" and "Jingjing" left the China Protect Daxiongmao Research Center Ya'an Bifeng Valley Base in Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Tuesday afternoon, starting their journey to Qatar.
In May 2020, China and Qatar signed a cooperation agreement on giant panda protection and research to further promote international cooperation in the field and to boost the protection of endangered species and biodiversity in the two countries. It marks the first time China has cooperated with a Middle Eastern country in this capacity.
"Sihai" is a female giant panda who was born in the Shenshuping base in Wolong National Nature Reserve on July 26, 2019, and "Jingjing," a male giant panda, was born in the Shenshuping Base on September 19, 2018. They have been living at the Ya'an Base since then.
To ensure that the two pandas start their new lives smoothly, both sides have made full preparations. The two pandas have been in good condition since the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda put them into quarantine a month ago.
The Chinese team has also sent several expert delegations to Qatar for on-site guidance and assessment of the venues, as well as assisting the country in setting up a professional giant panda breeding and management team, and ensuring supplies of bamboo.
To help the giant pandas adapt to their new environment quickly, the research center has also sent experienced breeders and veterinary experts to Qatar.
Chinese netizens expressed their expectations as Sihai and Jingjing left for Qatar. "Hope our babies have a safe trip. And hope that they can get used to the new environment quickly!" one netizen said.
"I hope the two lovely panda babies will take good care of themselves in a foreign country. Be happy every day, and eat well!" said another.