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OCEAN PARK WELCOMED IN FOUR RED PANDAS FROM CHENGDU APRIL DEBUT AT NEWEST AMAZING ASIAN ANIMALS ATTRACTION

2009-03-23

(23 March 2009 – Chengdu & Hong Kong) Ocean Park Hong Kong and the Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding Base (“the Base”) reported that the four red pandas on loan to Ocean Park by the Base have arrived at Ocean Park last night. Accompanied by a Mainland expert and two Ocean Park staff, the four red pandas left the Base yesterday at 9:45 am for the flight to Hong Kong. All arrived safely at Ocean Park at 6:00 pm the same night.

The four red pandas, named Tai Shan, Rou Rou, Cong Cong and Li Zi, will begin their 30-day quarantine and acclimatisation. They will meet the public at Ocean Park’s new mega-attraction, the Giant Panda Adventure exhibit in Amazing Asian Animals, which will also feature giant pandas and many other precious Asian animals.

The four red pandas consist of two males and two females born in the Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding Base. They are all eight to nine months old and belong to the second generation of red pandas bred by the Base. (*Please refer to attached factsheet for details)

“Ocean Park is delighted to have this opportunity to further our conservation collaboration, through the red pandas, with the Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding Base. We would like to thank the Base for loaning these red pandas – which are listed under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Appendix I – to be our animal and conservation ambassadors. We hope to leverage on Ocean Park’s strong local connection and window to the world to tell the story of the red pandas and their conservation. The Ocean Park team is all ready and will strive to give the best care for these precious endangered animals. Our trainers had spent six weeks in Chengdu to learn how to care for the red pandas and to build a relationship with them, which will help the animals to adapt the new environment in Hong Kong. Furthermore, a mainland expert accompanied with the red pandas will stay in Hong Kong for four weeks in order to assist the team to provide the best practice of care to the animals. The four red pandas are now settling and they have started feeding on bamboo and fruits,” said Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park.

 

“The giant pandas and red pandas share the same habitats in Sichuan, China. Unfortunately, these habitats have been disappearing due to human encroachment. Many of these habitats were also subsequently destroyed in the Sichuan earthquake last year. The habitats require urgent recovery. As such, the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong will continue its fundraising efforts to support reconstruction works for these habitats.”

 

Zhang Zhihe, Director of the Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding Base, said, “We are pleased that the four red pandas can meet the people of, as well as visitors to, Hong Kong and Ocean Park and enable them to get to know about these animals. We have signed an agreement with Ocean Park regarding the loan of the red pandas, which will facilitate research and projects on their conservation, breeding, scientific study, as well as public education. Through this project, we hope to strengthen our conservation collaboration on terrestrial mammals in the Mainland and Hong Kong.” (Please visit http://www.panda.org.cn for more information on the Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding Base)

Amazing Asian Animals is one of the brand-new attractions in Ocean Park’s HK$5.5 billion Master Redevelopment Plan which will be opened this April. The attraction’s world-class exhibits will showcase precious Asian animals such as the giant panda, red panda, Chinese giant salamander, Chinese alligator and a variety of goldfish.

“Hong Kong is eagerly awaiting the opening Amazing Asian Animals at Ocean Park. This will be a unique animal attraction in Asia, and we can’t be happier to welcome the four red pandas to be the Park’s new animal ambassadors, connecting or guests with nature,’ said Dr. Zeman.

-End-

About Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding Base

Established in March 1987, Chengdu breeding base has specialized their efforts in breeding and rearing giant pandas and red pandas, whist they have made significant contribution in disease prevention and management, public education and ex-situ conservation. At present, the base has 82 giant pandas and 58 red pandas. They have conducted research studies in nutrition, reproductive biology, handraising, endocrinology, behaviour and public education. Last year, they bred 18 giant pandas and 20 red pandas, which made them, have the largest red panda population in the world.

About Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s unique homegrown 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 90 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. Part of the proceeds from the Ocean Park admission tickets and some retail items will go to Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong to support its wildlife conservation projects.

The truck that used to deliver the four red pandas arrived Ocean Park at 6 pm on 22 March.
The truck that used to deliver the four red pandas arrived Ocean Park at 6 pm on 22 March.
Four red pandas were transported to Ocean Park’s quarantine facility and began their 30-day quarantine and acclimatisation.
Four red pandas were transported to Ocean Park’s quarantine facility and began their 30-day quarantine and acclimatisation.