China’s panda pair to leave for Belgium

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-2-21 0:53:01

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

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 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, said.

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

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


Posted in: Europe

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