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Chinese Leaders from the Central People's Government Attend Ceremony at Ocean Park to present Giant Pandas Ying Ying and Le Le to Hong Kong

2007-06-30

(Hong Kong – 30 June 2007) In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Central People's Government (CPG) bestowed upon the people of Hong Kong a pair of young giant pandas, which arrived on 26 April from the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province. The young pandas have since settled in at the newly renovated Hong Kong Jockey Club Giant Panda Habitat. Officials from the Central People's Government and the HKSAR congregated at Ocean Park this morning for the official Giant Pandas Gift Presentation Ceremony.

The event was attended by State Councilor, Mr. Tang Jiaxuan; Deputy Director, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Mr. Chen Zuoer; Chief Secretary, Mr. Rafael Hui; Chairman of Ocean Park, Dr. Allan Zeman; Minister of State Forestry Administration, Mr. Jia Zhibang; Governer of Sichuan Provincial People's Government, Mr. Jiang Jufeng; Secretary of Home Affairs, Dr. Patrick Ho; Chief Executive of Ocean Park, Mr. Tom Mehrmann.

“We are deeply grateful to the Central People's Government for granting the people of Hong Kong a second pair of giant pandas,” states Dr. Zeman, “And on behalf of Ocean Park, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Hong Kong SAR government for entrusting us with the role of care giver to Ying Ying and Le Le, as well as An An and Jia Jia, the pair of pandas that arrived in 1999. I’m pleased to report that under the close care and attention of our professional panda keeper team, Ying Ying and Le Le have settled in admirably at their new home at Ocean Park, and we look forward to the re-opening of the Giant Panda Habitat tomorrow, on 1 July. We are confident all four pandas will continue to inspire our guests as animal conservation ambassadors.”

The ceremony began with the screening of an exclusive video clip of the young pandas' first two months in Hong Kong, and key note speeches from State Councilor, Mr. Tang Jiaxuan from the Central People's Government, Chief Secretary Mr. Rafael Hui and Dr. Allan Zeman. The event also featured an award presentation ceremony for the “Giant Panda Naming Activity”, organised by the Home Affairs Bureau on behalf of the HKSAR Government. Led by Dr. Allan Zeman, leaders and representatives from the Central People's Government and the HKSAR visited the four giant pandas at the Giant Panda Habitat.

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About Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong's unique home-grown theme park with a heritage of delivering family fun and fond memories. Since its opening in January 1977 as a non-profit organization, Ocean Park has developed itself to be a world-class attraction connecting people with nature, and recognized for its animal husbandry, research and relationship with the community. Over 80 million people have visited Hong Kong's premier park since its inception and Ocean Park has remained committed to offer adults and children experiences that blend entertainment with education and conservation.