Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan
Tang Chunxiang is the chief veterinarian for the two pandas. He will accompany them to Taipei and plans to stay there for two months to help the pandas adapt to the new environment. He said that though shocked by the May earthquake, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan have recovered quickly and are now in excellent condition. He added that the scheduled long-distance journey shouldn't be a concern.
Tang Chunxiang said, "We have made careful preparations for every aspect. There may be jolts along the way and some also worry that the noise of the airplane's engine will scare the pandas. Actually, pandas are adaptable animals. And Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan are young and healthy. They may get a little bit frightened at the beginning but I believe they will get used to it in a few minutes."
Keepers from the Taipei Zoo are in Ya'an, hoping to get familiar with the pandas in advance. They are now gradually being accepted by the two animals.
Wang Jinzhi, keeper of Taipei City Zoo, said, "The main purpose of me being here is to try to get in touch with Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan as much as possible and to get to know their condition. We are also training them to perform some basic actions such as standing up and sitting down."
Pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, whose names when linked mean "reunion" in Chinese, are considered to be a symbol of peace, unity and friendship between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. The public should be able to see the long-awaited panda pair beginning in January during the Lunar New Year.
(CCTV December 23, 2008)