Panda couple receives rockstar reception in Belgium

 

A truck loaded with giant panda arrives at Pairi Daiza Zoo, about 60 km southwest of Brussels,

Belgium, on February 23, 2014.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

Kids with panda-shaped hats welcome the arrival of giant pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.

Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

A girl welcomes the arrival of giant pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

A staff wearing panda-shaped hat greets a lady when waiting for the arrival of

giant pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

Kids and their parents wait for the arrival of giant pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

Staff with panda-shaped hats register guests for welcoming the arrival of giant

pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

Kids holding Belgian and Chinese national flags and panda toys wait for the arrival of

giant pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

Kids painted as panda face performs to welcome the arrival of giant pandas at Pairi

Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

People holding the Belgian and Chinese national flags cheer for the arrival of

giant pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photos by Ye Pingfan


A lady holding the Chinese national flag and with a panda toy in her clothes waits

for the arrival of giant pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

People holding the Belgian and Chinese national flags cheer for the arrival of giant

pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

A boy with panda-shaped hat holds two panda toys when waiting for the arrival of

giant pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

A man with panda painting’s tie waits for the arrival of giant pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.  

Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

A boy putting panda toy into his clothes waits for the arrival of giant pandas

at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

People pose for photos with panda toys before the arrival of giant pandas

at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

An elderly lady takes photos for the arrival of giant pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

A girl holding the Chinese national flags and panda toys wait for the arrival of giant

pandas at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

Kids painted as panda face perform to welcome the arrival of giant pandas

at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo byYe Pingfan

 

 

 

 

 

China’s giant pandas

arrive at new home

in Belgian zoo

 

 

By Shuai Rong,  Rahul Venkit and  Yan Lei

 

 

 

 

A pair of giant pandas from southwest China’s Sichuan Province arrived at their new home in Belgium’s Pairi Daiza zoo, some 60 km southwest of downtown Brussels, at around 15:00 local time (1400GMT) on Sunday.

About 2,500 people, many of them excited children waving national flags of China and Belgium as well as panda-decorated flags or wearing costume of Panda greeted the pandas along the road to the zoo.

Visitors today can only observe the pandas through a closed-circuit television system in the reception.

Officials said they want the pandas fully adapted to their new home before making public debut in April. The zoo authorities set the daily maximum visitors at 18,000 by then.

The pandas, Xing Hui, the male and Hao Hao, the female, are both 4 years old and are on lease from a breeding center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

The lease term is 15 years, according to officials with the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas, the world’s largest research base for the species.

“It’s a good thing for Belgium,”Nicole Duflot, a grandmother coming to the zoo with her husband and her grandson told Xinhua, “though today we can’t see the Panda but it’s a great thing for us to come here.”

The Pandas will be living in a panda hall of 5,300 square meters within the zoo.

“I hope Xing Hui and Hao Hao will enhance friendship between Belgium and China.” Liao Liqiang, the Chinese ambassador to Belgium, said during an interview with Xinhua.

“I hope the panda research cooperation programme will bear fruit soon, and Xing Hui and Hao Hao can soon give birth to a baby panda, I hope the Belgium people continue to pay close attention to them and pandas protection.” Li Qingwen, Deputy Secretary-general of China Wildlife Conservation Association said when addressing to the visitors coming to the zoo.

Li said, giant panda is Ch*ina’s national treasure, pandas now enjoy better situation in the wild after all theses years of protection efforts.

“There are 2 captive-bred pandas released to the wild successfully, one of which has already live in the wild for one and a half year and the monitoring shows that it is in good condition.” He told Xinhua.

“Panda is the flag species to promote the animal and plant diversity, I hope we can encourage wild life protection through the cooperation programme.”Jia Jiansheng, deputy director of Department of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management, State Forestry Administration of China, told Xinhua.

“In a bid to make the pair feel at home, the zoo spent altogether 10 million euros (13.7 million U.S. dollars) for the construction, 8 million euros of which spent on Chinese Temple and the Panda enclosure and 2 million euros for the improving the condition of the rest of the zoo,”Eric Domb,President of Pairi Daiza Zoo, said in the news conference.

The zoo authority said, the pandas sleep a lot in the trip, and they are in very good condition than expected.

They also said that the zoo will first try feeding the pandas 40 different varieties of bamboo, supplied from France and the Netherlands. Then depending on which varieties Hao hao and Xing Hui most like, Pairi Daiza have allocated 4 hectares of land to grow bamboo plantations for the duo.

In 1987, two giant pandas visited Belgium but only stayed a few months. Built on ruins of a medieval monastery, Pairi Daiza Zoo was praised as one of the best zoo in Europe, and has the largest Chinese garden in it. Some of the rare Chinese animal such as the Red Crowned Crane and the red panda has been settle down there.

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 18 zoos in 13 countries. The lease term is usually 10 years.

Xing Hui and Hao Hao are the first two giant pandas China has sent overseas for a lease term of 15 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Panda couple

receives rockstar reception

in Belgium

 

By Rahul Venkit

Helicopter hovering overhead, thousands of cheering fans, music blaring from loudspeakers…one would be forgiven for thinking famous rockstars were coming to the Pairi Daiza zoo, 60km southwest of Brussels, on Sunday of February 23.

But then again, few rockstars would be received personally at the airport by the country’s prime minister, deputy prime minister, defense minister and then be given a police escort to their final destination.

Such were the courtesies extended by Belgian authorities to Hao Hao and Xing Hui — the first giant pandas China has sent overseas for a lease term of 15 years instead of the usual ten.

 

A PLUSH HOME

 

Back at the Pairi Daiza zoo, some 2,000 people, many of them excited children with painted faces and Chinese and Belgian flags in hand, welcomed the panda pair to their new home in Belgium.

And it’s quite a swanky home at that. The zoo spent 8 million euros (11 million U.S. dollars) constructing a brand new 5,300 square-meter Chinese garden. Each panda will have separate indoor and outdoor areas spanning 830 square meters.

Park officials plan to offer the pandas 40 different varieties of bamboo sourced from in and around Belgium before attempting to grow their favorite types on campus. The bears will also have two Chinese experts supervising them 24/7 for their first six months in the country.

Hao Hao, the female, and Xing Hui, the male, have until early April to acclimatize to their new surroundings before the zoo is opened to a maximum of 18,000 visitors a day.

Even though visitors on Sunday could only observe the new arrivals through closed-circuit television in the park’s reception, they generated much excitement among the young and old alike.

“It’s really exciting to have pandas arriving in Belgium,” 8-year-old Arnaud Martins told Xinhua. “They’re really beautiful and really rare,” he said.

“After today, my children and I are inspired to maybe travel to China to learn more about these magnificent creatures,” visitor Simone Thomas stated.

 

 

PANDA ECONOMICS, DIPLOMACY

 

It is such enthusiasm park director Eric Domb will be hoping to tap in the coming years. He is confident Pairi Daiza’s collaboration with the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas, will help boost visitor numbers from 1.24 million last year to 1.35 million in 2014 alone.

In fact, Belgium becomes only the 13th country and Pairi Daiza the 18th zoo in the world to house giant pandas, considered one of the world’s most endangered species. About 1,600 live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of China’s southwestern Sichuan province, while over 300 live in captivity.

Apart from the sheer prestige of receiving much sought-after pandas, Belgium’s extraordinarily long lease is being viewed as a sign of strong ties with China.

Belgium was China’s sixth largest trading partner in the EU in 2012, with a bilateral trade volume of 26.3 billion U.S. dollars.

Speaking to the press at Brussels airport earlier on Sunday, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said he aimed to enhance cooperation with China in such fields such as foreign investment and people-to-people exchange, especially among the youth.

In a similar vein, a new Belgian visa application center was inaugurated in Beijing on Friday to boost tourism from China.

“I hope Xing Hui and Hao Hao will further enhance friendship between Belgium and China,” Liao Liqiang, China’s ambassador to Belgium, said during an interview with Xinhua.

 

 

PANDA PROGENY

 

Even as Hao Hao and Xing Hui come to terms with their instant celebrity status in Belgium, a lot will be riding on their shoulders.

With some luck, Belgian and Chinese authorities are hoping the panda duo each aged nearly five — thus a year away from puberty — will be able to bear cubs during their stint here.

“I hope the panda research cooperation program will bear fruit soon, and Xing Hui and Hao Hao can soon give birth to a baby panda,” Li Qingwen, deputy secretary-general of the China Wildlife Conservation Association told visitors on Sunday.

Given pandas’ infamous solitary lifestyles (female pandas only tolerate a male’s presence around them two to three days a year during mating season), Pairi Daiza will be working with specialists at the University of Ghent to study their behavior, hormones and overall health to help them procreate.

Jia Jiansheng, an official with the State Forestry Administration of China, expressed great hope in the success of the program. “The panda is a symbol of conservation of animal and plant diversity around the world. The larger goal is to encourage the protection of wild life,” he said.

 

 

 

A baby sleeps with a panda toy when people wait for the arrival of giant pandas

at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

People watch vedio of panda outside the panda house at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

People walk down from on top of panda house at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

Kids walk down from on top of panda house at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

People pose for photos behind a stone carved with pandas at the entrance of a path

to the panda house at Pairi Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

Kids walk through a path lined with bamboo in front of the panda house at Pairi

Daiza Zoo.   Photo by Ye Pingfan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Giant pandas arrive at Belgian Zoo

 

By Wei Jie 

 

About 25-hundred people showed up at the airport in Brussels, Belgium on Sunday to greet a pair of giant pandas who arrived from China. The pandas, a male and female called Xing Hui and Hao Hao, will live in Belgium for the next 15 years as part of a scientific research project.

Though they’ll need some time to adapt to their new home in the zoo before the public can visit them, the Belgian people are clearly excited about their new guests. Lifestyles has the story.

The two giant pandas arrived on Sunday at their new home in Belgium’s Pairi Daiza zoo, some 60 kilometres southwest of downtown Brussels.

Along the road to the zoo, they were greeted by people waving the national flags of China and Belgium and some wearing panda costumes.

The pandas now live in an enclosure of some 5,300 square meters within the zoo. For now, visitors can only observe the pandas through a closed-circuit television system in the reception area.

Officials said they want the pandas to fully adapt to their new home before they make their public debut in April. The zoo authorities have set the daily maximum number of visitors for then at 18,000.

(Local resident Child 1): “We are happy about this.” (Child 2): “Lots of joy.” (Child 3): “We do not often see pandas.”

To better accommodate the precious animals, the zoo spent a total of 10 million euros for the construction, 8 million euros of which was spent on a Chinese Temple and the panda enclosure itself and 2 million euros for improving the condition of the rest of the zoo.

A ceremony was held mark the arrival of the pandas, which began with a traditional Chinese lion dance.

(Lion Dance Performer): “I have not seen pandas before. I can’t wait to see them. I have been steeped in Chinese culture for a long time especially in the martial arts and I’m happy to be here.”

The pandas, Xing Hui, the male and Hao Hao, the female, are both 4 years old and are on lease from a breeding center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

According to officials with the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas, the lease term is 15 years.

(JIA JIANSHENG, Chinese Wildlife Conservation Official): “Through cooperation with the Belgian side, we hope that we can contribute to breeding, disease control, surviving skills in the wild, and ecological habits of the species. I believe we can not only make progress in wildlife conservation, but also in protecting biodiversity as a whole.”

In 1987, two giant pandas were sent to Belgium but stayed for only a few months.

Built on the ruins of a medieval monastery, Pairi Daiza Zoo has been praised as one of the best zoos in Europe, and has Europe’s largest Chinese garden.

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.

When the two pandas arrived at the Brussels Airport on Sunday, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and the Chinese Ambassador to Belgium Liao Liqiang gave speeches at the welcoming ceremony.

Officials, average citizens, lots of children and over 120 journalists from the international media gathered at the airport to welcome Xing Hui and Hao Hao.

Prime Minister Di Rupo welcomed the pandas on behalf of all Belgians.

(ELIO DI RUPO, Belgian Prime Minister): “It is an honor and a source of pride for our country. In the name of the Belgian government, I want to warmly thank the Chinese authorities for sharing two national treasures with Belgium and the Belgian people. I’ d like to express my deep appreciation to Chinese President Xi Jinping and to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.”

Di Rupo added that the pandas represent the profound friendship of the Chinese people and the Belgians. He also promised to treat the pandas as good as at home.

(ELIO DI RUPO, Belgian Prime Minister): “It is a symbol. Sending two national treasures to Belgium is an extremely important gesture by Chinese authorities. There are only about 1,600 pandas in the world, and the fact that we are able to have two of them for 15 years — we really appreciate that and we can how much this gesture means to our country. It is very important for our future relations.”

Liao Liqiang, the Chinese ambassador to Belgium said that the arrival of the two pandas could open a window to the Belgians and people of Europe.

(LIAO LIQIANG, Chinese Ambassador): “I hope that they will make some babies in Belgium, and always improve the Chinese-Belgian friendship. I want to say to our Belgian friends that our children love Tintin and the Smurfs, who are from Belgium. I hope that Xing Hui and Hao Hao will become great friends with Tintin and the Smurfs.”

(Belgian Journalist): “Belgians love pandas, because they are cute, they are fluffy, they are funny. This is a really funny and interesting animal. No one could see a panda in Belgium, we had to travel to see them.”

The pair of giant pandas arrived by chartered DHL aircraft. Both are in good condition.

 

 

 

 

Blog Editor: Miao Hong 

 

 

 

 

Share


10,171 Comments

  1. Heriberto wrote:

    Hello There. I discovered your blog using msn. That is a really smartly written article.
    I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your useful information. Thanks for the
    post. I will definitely return.

  2. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long)
    so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing.
    Do you have any recommendations for rookie blog
    writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  3. Ava wrote:

    Keep on writing, great job!

  4. If some one desires expert view regarding running a blog afterward i propose him/her to pay a quick visit this webpage, Keep up the
    good work.

  5. Jannie wrote:

    Hi, the whole thing is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s
    genuinely excellent, keep up writing.

Leave a Reply

*