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Panda Day held to celebrate safe arrival of two giant pandas in Denmark

By Sheng Chuyi (People's Daily Online)    17:54, May 10, 2019

Musical "Panda Fairytale" performed by children from the Chengdu Golden Apple School. (People's Daily Online/Sheng Chuyi)

Beijing, May 10 (People's Daily Online) -- To celebrate the arrival of two giant pandas in Denmark, Panda Day was held in Beijing this Friday.

Organized by the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing and supported by China's National Forestry and Grassland Administration, and co-organized by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Panda Day attracted hundreds of participants to celebrate the new chapter of friendship between China and Denmark.

"Denmark and China have had close relations for centuries. These two charming animals can be seen as a perfect living symbol of our long friendship," A. Carsten Damsgaard, Ambassador of Denmark to China, emphasized in his speech at the event.

This April, two giant pandas, male Xing Er and female Mao Er, nicknamed Mao Sun, left Chengdu, in southwestern China, for their new home - Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark, where they will live for the next 15 years.

Zhang Zhihe, Director General of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, told media that Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and Copenhagen Zoo have made preparations to ensure Xing Er and Mao Er can adapt to a new environment in another country. "Before heading to Denmark, we tried to feed the pandas bamboo from Copenhagen Zoo to see whether they like the different species. We also transported 500 kilograms of bamboo from Chengdu to Copenhagen to enable the two pandas to change their tastes gradually," he said.

Zhang also mentioned that 5-year-old Xing Er and 4-year-old Mao Er are now the perfect age to procreate. "We are looking forward to a baby panda in Denmark next year or the year after next. Apart from that, we are also expecting more outcomes between the two countries, in terms of cultural exchange, tourism cooperation and other aspects," he added.

When asked how the two pandas are doing after their long journey, Bengt Holst, Director of Research and Conservation in Copenhagen Zoo answered with excitement, "They are doing pretty well, it's as if they have been there for several years already,"

"We didn't expect it, but as soon as we opened the slides, Xing Er went out, found the bamboo and started eating within 10 seconds. Mao Er was a little slower and explored her surroundings first. After a couple of minutes, she also started eating bamboo. It's a very good start.

"We have received a lot of good advice and information from the Chengdu Panda Base. Now it is our time to give back and contribute by doing some research and exchanging the research [results] between the Panda Base and Copenhagen Zoo. I think we can achieve a lot," he added.

Dai Guangcui, Director General of International Cooperation Department of National Forestry and Grassland Administration noted in a speech on Panda Day that as the national wildlife authority of China, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration will always provide the necessary support for the cooperation on protection of giant pandas with Denmark and other countries.

Zhang and Holst, who have been working together for nearly a decade, also held a "Panda Talk" on Panda Day. They both expect to make more brilliant achievements together going forward.

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding was founded in 1987. The base has cooperated with 16 countries and regions and has established extensive links and cooperation networks.

On May 3, 2017, the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens and the Copenhagen Zoo officially signed the China-Denmark Giant Panda Protection and Research Co-operation Agreement. This year, the two giant pandas visiting Denmark for cooperative research marks the first cooperation exchange between China and Denmark in regards to pandas since diplomatic relations were established in 1950.


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(Web editor: Sheng Chuyi, Hongyu)

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