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Taipei, Sichuan strike pact on panda reproduction

Taipei, Sichuan strike pact on panda reproduction

The Taipei City Zoo and Sichuan Province's Giant Panda Research Center yesterday reached an agreement to work together to help a pair of panda bears given by China to Taiwan reproduce soon.
The pandas, named Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, were given by Sichuan to Taipei in December 2008 as a gift that signified the improved relations between Taiwan and China. It is hoped that the pandas would mate and produce a baby panda in Taiwan.
Under the memorandum signed yesterday, zoologists and zoo workers from the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries in Wolong and Taipei City Zoo will visit each side and share information on and experience in giant panda caring, medical care and breeding techniques, according to Taipei City Zoo Director Jason Yeh.
“It is hoped that through the panda exchanges, the two sides will cooperate even closer in wildlife conservation efforts in the future,” Yeh said.
Witnessing the signing of the pact at the Taipei City Zoo, Sichuan Province’s Communist Party Secretary Liu Qibao, who is leading a Sichuan delegation on a four-day visit in Taiwan, instructed Zhang Hemin, known as “the father of giant pandas” in China, to help the Taipei zoo facilitate Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan's reproduction.
Zhang, chief of the Wolong Nature Reserve Administration, is accompanying Liu on the visit.
Neither side, however, said much about when they hoped or expected the two pandas to reproduce or whether they have noticed any problems. The pandas reached maturity late last year and early this year, respectively, at age 5.
Some Taiwanese media have reported that while the male panda Tuan Tuan has been seen trying to flirt with the female Yuan Yuan, Yuan Yuan does not seem interested. But Taipei zoo officials have said recently that the pandas are fine, and just need some time.
Liu said yesterday that he was pleased to see Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, which he labeled as a token of peace across the Taiwan Strait, living happily in an environment built especially for them at the zoo.
Also speaking at the event, Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin said Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan have been one of the most popular residents at the zoo over the past one-and-a-half years, bringing happiness to Taiwanese people, particularly children.


Updated : 2021-08-04 09:17 GMT+08:00