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Two 4-year-old giant pandas depart for Belgium

02-22-2014 15:38 BJT

A pair of 4-year-old giant pandas are leaving for Belgium today, from their breeding center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

Xing Hui, the male, and Hao Hao, the female, are both four years old and will stay in
Belgium for the next 15 years

Hundreds of people attended a ceremony on Saturday morning to see the two pandas off at the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas. They are bound for a research program at Belgium’s Pairi Daiza Zoo.

Quarantine and a final health check before departure. Prep work at the research base started months ago.

Veterinarian Wu Daifu, who has been working there for nearly 20 years, says Haohao and Xinghui are ready to go and he has only a couple of concerns.

"There are some temperature differences between Belgium and Sichuan, so they’ll need to adjust to the new weather conditions. I also worry whether they would like the food over there. But I think they will do well in the new home," Wu said.

Xing Hui, the male, and Hao Hao, the female, are both four years old and will stay in
Belgium for the next 15 years

Xing Hui, the male, and Hao Hao, the female, are both four years old and will stay
in Belgium for the next 15 years

The Belgium Pairi Daiza zoo signed a research cooperation agreement with the Giant Panda Wolong Nature Reserve in 2013, setting the terms for Haohao and Xing Hui’s life abroad for the next 15 years.

"Since last year we have been built the nicest house for “Hao Hao ” and “Xing Hui”, so they will really benefit from five star hotel, the people in charge two pandas are Chinese experts, so no Belgium experts will take care pandas, just Chinese, because we want the best for the most beautiful animals," said Eric Domb, CEO of Pairi Daiza Zoo, Belgium.

At present, there are 17 zoos in 12 countries who have established long-term research cooperation with the dozens of panda reserves in China.

"These bases have been conducting joint research on Giant Panda conservation with many countries over the years. 43 giant pandas including cubs are now living overseas, for the purposes of research and education," said CCTV reporter Liu Yang.

Where Haohao and Xinghui come from is the largest base in China that looks into disease control and prevention for the animals.

"We will work with Pairi Daiza zoo in Belgium on preserving the culture of the Giant Panda, disease control and prevention," said Zhang Hemin, Director general of Sichuan Wolong National Nature Reserve.

International joint research is the key to unlocking many mysteries that will help giant Panda conservation. It is the world’s responsibility to save this endangered species.

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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