China's panda couple to leave for Belgium

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 20, 2014
Adjust font size:

A pair of giant pandas are leaving for Belgium on Saturday, on lease from a breeding center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Panda Xinghui. [Photo/]

Xing Hui, the male and Hao Hao, the female, are both 4 years old and are bound for Belgium's Pairi Daiza zoo for the next 15 years, as announced during Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo's September visit to China.

China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas, the world's largest research base for the species, confirmed with Xinhua on Thursday that the pandas were "in a good condition and ready for the trip".

"It's the first time that we have sent animals abroad for so long [15 years], and we hope they adapt to life in Belgium as soon as possible," Zhang Hemin, head of the center told Xinhua.

The center receives panda lease applications from around the world. Usually, the lease term is 10 years.

The pair are expected to arrive in Brussels on Sunday by charted DHL aircraft, via Bahrain.

Two experienced vets will accompany the happy couple for six months to make sure they get on well with their new keepers in their new home.

Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species. About 1,600 live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan, while more than 300 live in captivity.

Known as China's "national gem," more than 40 pandas are on lease and their offspring now live in 17 zoos in 12 countries.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from