cryptogamestelegram|China Focus: China's pandas heading to the United States for the first time in two decades

super2024-06-27 17:07:529Academia

CHENGDUcryptogamestelegram, June 27 (Xinhua) -- A pair of giant pandas from China are heading to the San Diego Zoo in the United States, the first to enter the country in over two decades.

Yun Chuan and Xin Bao left their hometown in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Wednesday, transiting through Hong Kong. Sent as part of a 10-year international giant panda protection cooperation program, the duo are scheduled to arrive in the United States on Thursday, according to the China Wildlife Conservation Association.

This marks a new round of giant panda protection cooperation between the two countries, following an agreement signed in February between the China Wildlife Conservation Association and the San Diego Zoo.

"This is a historic conservation partnership that will help protect these magnificent creatures and their habitat," tweeted Todd Gloria, Mayor of San Diego, who attended a farewell ceremony in Ya'an, where the pandas had been residing.

Yun Chuan and Xin Bao, selected from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP), are accompanied by experienced breeders and veterinarians on their journey.

cryptogamestelegram|China Focus: China's pandas heading to the United States for the first time in two decades

According to Gloria, the pair could attract more visitors to the San Diego Zoo. "We anticipate a 20 to 40 percent boost in attendance...because we know people love these creatures."

"I understand the special place the giant pandas are here in China," said Gloria. "These are ambassadors, kind of like an icon for this nation."

Li Desheng, deputy director of the CCRCGP, expressed hope that Yun Chuan and Xin Bao will serve as a bridge, bringing the people of China and the United States closer together.

The CCRCGP has carried out scientific research cooperation with the San Diego Zoo for over 25 years, achieving fruitful results in the protection, breeding, and disease control of giant pandas.

The San Diego Zoo was the first U.S. zoo to forge a collaborative conservation program with Chinese partners. It also shares a special bond with the pandas, as Yun Chuan, a nearly five-year-old male, is the son of Zhen Zhen, who was born at the San Diego Zoo in 2007.

According to the official website of China's National Forestry and Grassland Administration, as of June this year, China has collaborated with 26 institutions across 20 countries to promote giant panda conservation. There are more than 50 giant pandas currently living overseas.

Wang Yiwei, a professor at the Renmin University of China, noted that he has seen widespread affection for giant pandas among people worldwide, including those in Japan, France and other countries, particularly among young people and children.

Speaking about the preparations for the arrival of Yun Chuan and Xin Bao, Paul Baribault, CEO of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, said that they have expanded the living space for the pandas.

"We've also been preparing all their food. So it feels right like they're right at home," Baribault added.

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