Chinese auto firm adopts American-born panda

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, February 8, 2010
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A Chinese auto firm has adopted Tai Shan, a male panda that had just returned to China from Washington of the United States, its birthplace.

Sichuan Auto Industry Group signed the adoption deal with Ya'an Bifeng Gorge Breeding Base under China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda in Sichuan's Wolong Nature Reserve on Wednesday, two days before Tai Shan returned, the company's PR firm said Sunday.

The company paid 400,000 yuan (58,570 U.S. dollars) for the adoption to express love, not only from the firm, but also on behalf of the Sichuan people, to the panda, said Yang Wenqiang, general manager of Detong Tianxia Media Corp, which is in charge of Sichuan Auto Industry Group's publicity affairs, Sunday.

Tai Shan, expected to receive tourists after a month of quarantine, is adapting well to life at its new home. "He is in good mood and eating well," said Tang Chunxiang, deputy director of the Panda research center.

"But we still need to keep an eye on him to ensure he is in stable condition after a long trip from the United States," said Tang.

Tai Shan, 4.5 years old, returned to southwest China's Sichuan Province on Friday along with 3-year-old female panda Mei Lan born in Atlanta.

Mei Lan has been sent to the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding. However, she looks not as well adapted to the new home. She jumps around and roars when she see people, and seems to be not interested in either Chinese or American food, according to Huang Xiangming, a staff member with the Chengdu base.

"Mei Lan is expected to calm down after a good rest and we are helping her to quickly adapt to the new environment," said Huang.

The base is selecting a Chinese language teacher for her as she does not know Mandarine or Sichuan dialect.

Meanwhile, the base is asking the public to vote for a "boyfriend" for Mei Lan from candidates published on the Internet as she has reached mating age.

China loaned two panda couples to the United States in the 1990s, which delivered Tai Shan and Mei Lan in July 2005 and September 2006 respectively.

The two panda cubs had been treated as pop idols in their respective birthplaces.

According to the agreements reached between Chinese and American authorities, giant pandas and their cubs must be returned to China after scientific studies finish.

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