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LE LE AND YING YING ADAPTING ADMIRABLY TO FIRST 24 HOURS AT OCEAN PARK

2007-04-27

Hong Kong, 27 April 2007 – Le Le and Ying Ying, the two young giant pandas, officially became Hong Kong Residents as they landed on Hong Kong soil yesterday. They are settling in very well at their new home at Ocean Park, which, according to Ocean Park chairman, Dr. Allan Zeman, will have a whole new outlook to signify Hong Kong’s appreciation for these treasured gifts from the Central People’s Government (Central Government). To enable the Hong Kong community to share the joy and bond with the new pandas, Ocean Park will run two public design activities, and work with the Home Affairs Department to bring in 10,000 low-income families and over 10,000 senior citizens from elderly homes from the 18 districts. Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong will also start a $10 million fundraising drive to support more panda and panda habitat conservation projects in Mainland China.

Le Le and Ying Ying are two young pandas born in 2005, and bestowed on Hong Kong people as gifts from the Central Government to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The two young pandas started their quarantine immediately upon arrival yesterday. This will last for 30 days, after which they will spend another 30 days acclimatising to the new environment at Ocean Park.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have Le Le and Ying Ying here, and we are honoured to be their appointed caregiver,” said Dr. Zeman. “And thanks to the seamless operation starting from the Wolong Nature Reserve all the way to Ocean Park, made possible by full governmental co-ordination, as well as the tender loving care provided by the panda veterinarian and caregiver teams from both Wolong and Ocean Park, these young pandas are in great shape and spirits. In fact, they have been observed to be actively exploring and taking in their new homes with a certain curiosity and playfulness.” “We have a professional, top-calibre team of panda keepers, who have had extensive experience caring for An An and Jia Jia, and we pledge to give all four national treasures the best care and attention, as they take on new roles as animal ambassadors for Ocean Park,” Dr Zeman added. “We have no doubt that, like An An and Jia Jia, they too will grow up to occupy a unique place in the hearts of the people of Hong Kong,” he said.

Newly Renovated Giant Panda Habitat

To accommodate the two new residents, the Giant Panda Habitat is undergoing a comprehensive renovation, and is set to reopen to the public on 1 July 2007 for the 10th anniversary celebrations.

The new habitat will be divided into three separate activity zones for the pandas, with ample viewing areas for guests to be captivated by all four pandas – An An, Jia Jia, Le Le, and Ying Ying. There are also appropriate back of house facilities.

 Ocean Park has consulted with panda experts to ensure the best design and top quality facilities at the Habitat. Their activity areas are designed to reflect the natural ecological environment in Sichuan, and created to best accommodate each panda’s individual characteristics. For instance, extra climbing frames are stationed at the young inhabitants’ enclosure, so the young pandas can be as active as they wish.

On 1 July, people in Hong Kong will be able to see the lovely new pandas for the first time, together with the new outlook of the facility. “We want a totally new look to highlight and celebrate the arrival of the new pandas,” Dr. Zeman said. According to Dr. Zeman, the exterior will reflect a playful and creative image, using materials from the pandas’ natural habitat, such as bamboo, and oversized panda images to welcome our visitors. “We want to make a grand entry statement with a high impact design so guests can see and feel the significance these four panda ambassadors represent,” he added.

What Do Giant Pandas Eat Apart From Bamboo?

For grown-up pandas like An An and Jia Jia, 95% of their diet consists of bamboo shoots and bamboo leaves, with additional fruits and rice cakes. For the younger Le Le and Ying Ying, however, their diet also includes special cornmeal buns rich in vitamins and minerals, to match their unique nutritional needs.

Ocean Park Lovely Giant Pandas Drawing Activity for Primary School Students

Le Le and Ying Ying’s arrival in Hong Kong is definitely the hot topic in the city, and we cannot wait to share the excitement. To encourage an emotional bond and arouse interest towards the young pandas, Ocean Park launches the Ocean Park Lovely Giant Pandas Drawing Activity, inviting all primary students in Hong Kong to participate and show off their creativity by drawing the precious pandas in their minds onto paper with watercolour, crayons or colouring pencils. The competition is divided into two groups, Junior Section (Primary 1 to 3), and Senior Section (Primary 4 to 6). Three winners and ten merit prizes will be selected out of each group. Winners will have the chance to participate in fun animal conservation activities, including Breakfast with The Giant Pandas, and enrolling in the Honorary Giant Panda Keeper programme. For details, please visit the Ocean Park website, www.oceanpark.com.hk, after 30 April 2007.

Design a Special Toy for the Giant Pandas!

In addition to the Ocean Park Lovely Giant Pandas Drawing Activity, Ocean Park is also launching Craft-A-Toy To Enrich The Giant Pandas, which is open to all secondary school students and Hong Kong citizens over age 18. Ocean Park will host workshops at which our professional panda care experts will reveal the character and characteristics of the giant pandas to the participants, to help them come up with their designs. The grand prize, of which there are three, will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to embark on a six-day eco-tour in the scenic Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan. For details, please visit the Ocean Park website, www.oceanpark.com.hk, after 30 April 2007.

Community Programme for Low-Income Families & Senior Citizens

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the HKSAR and the arrival of the new pandas, Ocean Park will team up with the Home Affairs Department and Non-Governmental Organisations to welcome to the Park 10,000 families from low-income groups, and over 10,000 senior citizens living in elderly homes, enabling people from all walks of the community to appreciate this wonderful gift from the Central Government to the people of Hong Kong.

OPCFHK HK$10 Million Fund-Raising Target for Panda Habitat Conservation

The Ocean Park Conservation Fund Hong Kong (OPCFHK), has continually been an avid supporter of giant panda conservation, and plans to raise HK$10 million in five years to fund more panda research and conservation activities. “We hope everyone will give generously to enable OPCFHK to reach our target, and materialise initiatives to preserve the pandas’ natural habitat as well as help the socio-economic development of the communities surrounding the panda reserve areas,” stated Ms. Judy Chen, Chairperson of OPCFHK. “We’re grateful for all the donations we’ve received so far, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Crown Worldwide (HK) Limited for their HK$600,000 donation to give a boost for our HK$10 million fundraising drive. We also want to thank them for sponsoring all arrangements for the safe and speedy delivery of the two panda cubs yesterday.”

Ocean Park is totally committed to providing the best surroundings and expert care to ensure the health and happy growth of our new residents, which, together with An An and Jia Jia, will no doubt continue to inspire our guests,” Dr. Zeman said.

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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.