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Macao's panda pavilion opens with "happy" welcome

01-18-2011 20:56 BJT

MACAO, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Macao held the opening ceremony for its 90- million-patacas (11.25 million U. S. dollars) panda pavilion on Tuesday, indicating that Kai Kai and Xin Xin, the panda pair that China's central government presented Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), are allowed to see the public after undergoing a month-long quarantine.

Chief Executive of Macao SAR Chui Sai On, former CE Ho Hau Wah, officials from the central government and Sichuan province attended the opening ceremony, which was broadcast live on local television TDM and Macao's panda website.

After the opening ceremony, guests and media were guided into the indoor activity quarters, where Kai Kai and Xin Xin were playing at the moment. It was the first time that they were allowed to face the public after settling down in Macao.

Facing dozens of cameras outside the glass wall, male panda Kai Kai seemed a little bit shy, keeping itself far away from the journalists. It stood in front of the feeding warehouse, gazing inside until feeder threw out snacks for it to eat.

The female panda Xin Xin, however, enjoyed the spotlight before dozens of journalists and guests. It climbed onto a tree, posed steadily and elegantly, providing journalists with numerous photo opportunities. Then, Xin Xin climbed down to the grass before rolling itself to the nearest distance of media.

With all attention from the public focused on it, Xin Xin lied down on the grass, eating bamboos satisfactorily while gazing at different people from time to time.

"The panda pair is a precious gift that the central government gives to Macao," said Chan Lai Man, Secretary for Justice and Administration, "we believe that Kai Kai and Xin Xin, as they settle down as members of Macao Family, will bring us happiness with their unique charm."

To welcome the panda pair, Macao has made meticulous preparation works through building a state-of-the-art pavilion and training a team of keepers and veterinarians.

The panda pavilion, nestled against a hill side in Seac Pai Van Park in Coloane island in a fan-shaped layout of about 3,000 square meters, comprises two 330-square-meter indoor activity quarters and a 600-square-meter outdoor yard for the inhabitation of the pandas. Internal facilities include a logistic centre with panda dens, bamboo-washing and storage quarters, feed preparation room, feed warehouse, control centre and veterinarian clinic, etc.

After visiting the pavilion last year, experts from Chengdu Panda Base highly praised its establishment, branding it as one of "top three panda pavilions in the world".

However, Macao SAR government decided not to set a high ticket price for the pavilion, charging merely 10 patacas (1.25 U.S. dollars) for each visitor while admission to the pavilion are free for those aged 12 or below and 65 or above.According to Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM), the pavilion will initially open for a test-run from Wednesday till January 27, when only arranged visits for senior citizens and students will be allowed.

The public will be able to see the panda pair with restricted amount of tickets from January 28 and April 27, when the pavilion undergoes another three-month-long test-run. After that, the pavilion will be fully operational.

Meanwhile, Macao SAR government set up a special "panda bus" service that shuttles from the pavilion and downtown area to the convenience of the residents.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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