Ecns wire

France seeks to renew lease of giant pandas during Macron's visit to China

2023-04-07 Editor : Zhang Dongfang ECNS App Download

(ECNS) -- French media reported Rodolphe Delord, director of the ZooParc de Beauval, shoulders the mission of renewing the lease of Chinese giant pandas during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to China.

Macron arrived in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by a delegation of more than 100 figures from different fields, including Delord.

He  came to China in 2019 during Macron and his wife’s visit to China. The ZooParc de Beauval is the largest zoo in France as well as the only one that has giant pandas, hosting five in total.

Huan Huan and Yuan Zai, who went to the ZooParc de Beauval in 2012 and had given birth to three cubs, should have been sent back to China in 2022 after the 10-year lease expired, but their return was delayed until 2024 due to the pandemic.

According to the lease agreed between China and France, giant panda cubs born in France belong to China and will be sent back to the country when they are four years old.

Giant pandas are popular among French people. Since the arrival of giant pandas, visit numbers to the Zoo Parc de Beauval have soared, with parking lots increased from two to eight and the annual zoo ticket income climbing from 600,000 to 1.6 million euros.

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, giant pandas could bring an income of 64 million euros for the zoo.


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