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Taipei Zoo's pangolins become a Prague love story

Pangolin couple flown to Czech Republic as part of Taipei-Prague loan program

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Run Hou Tang at Taipei Zoo. (Taipei Zoo photo)

Run Hou Tang at Taipei Zoo. (Taipei Zoo photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two of Taipei Zoo’s pangolins arrived at Prague Zoological Garden on Thursday evening (April 14), where zookeepers hope they will reproduce.

The pangolin loan program was launched after Taipei and Prague became sister cities and signed a zoo conservation cooperation memorandum of understanding in 2020. The trip for Run Hou Tang (潤喉糖, Cough Drop) and Gun Bao (果寶 Precious Fruit) had been delayed due to COVID, which hindered the progress of habitat construction at Prague Zoological Garden.

On Wednesday (April 13), after receiving health check-ups, the two pangolins boarded an Emirates plane and embarked on a journey that took more than 24 hours. They were accompanied by a Taipei Zoo staff member and a veterinarian specializing in pangolin care, who will remain in Prague for around two weeks, Taipei Zoo reported.

Upon their arrival, the pangolins and Taipei Zoo staff members were greeted by the Prague Zoological Garden team led by the zoo’s deputy director Jaroslav Simek. Also present was a representative from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Prague.

Run Hou Tang and Gun Bao were confirmed to be in good health despite the long journey, according to Taipei Zoo. The pangolins are now in quarantine and adapting to their new homes and zookeepers.

As both of them were born and raised in captivity, they are used to interacting with zookeepers and veterinarians. They have highly curious and bold characters, which will help them settle into their new environment.

Taipei Zoo's pangolins become a Prague love story
Prague Zoological Garden staff members unload Run Hou Tang and Gun Bao. (Taipei Zoo photo)

Aside from caring for the pangolins, Taipei Zoo staff hope to take part in learning exchanges with their Czech colleagues in addition to helping them build a pangolin care system during their stay in Prague. Taipei Zoo also aims to expand the scope of its conservation partnership in Europe and connect with more zoos.

Taipei Zoo became the only zoo in the world able to care for and breed the Chinese pangolin in captivity after dedicating long-term efforts to the conservation, research, and education of the animal. Prague Zoological Garden is the second zoo in Europe to house pangolins. The first was Leipzig Zoological Garden in Germany, which also received pangolins from Taipei Zoo.

Taipei Zoo's pangolins become a Prague love story
Run Hou Tang takes her young on a stroll at Taipei Zoo. (Taipei Zoo photo)

Taipei Zoo's pangolins become a Prague love story
Gun Bao gets a health inspection prior to embarking on his journey to Europe. (Taipei Zoo photo)

Taipei Zoo's pangolins become a Prague love story
Taipei Zoo staff send off the two pangolins. (Taipei Zoo photo)