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Ying Ying & Le Le's Birthday Wish: 'Help Our Friends in Sichuan!'

2008-08-12

Ocean Park Unveils Their 30-Metre Giant Birthday Card and Invites All To "Lend A Hand" To Help Sichuan Panda Reserves

(12 August 2008 - Hong Kong) As Ocean Park and Hong Kong celebrate the two young giant pandas, Ying Ying and Le Let's, third birthday this week, the Park's conservation arm, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong (OPCFHK) also called for continued donations to help rebuild Sichuan's 12 panda reserves devastated by the earthquake in May.

Ocean Park presented to the Pandas a giant 30-metre long birthday card, which was produced in Ying Ying and Le Le Giant Birthday Card Workshop'. It contained handprint greetings from over 5,000 guests who all made a donation to OPCFHK's "Sichuan Earthquake Relief – Giant Panda Base Rebuilding Fund".

"We're all thrilled to celebrate Ying Ying and Le Le's birthday at Ocean Park! The lovely national treasures have truly endeared themselves to our guests, touching all guests with their conservation story about their habitats," said Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park. "We launched the and fund raising drive in July. We are pleased so many guests showed they cared through their donations and handprints. We want to do more, so Ocean Park will extend the drive with a new wave of fund raising by adding a competitive element. The guest who makes the single biggest donation between tomorrow and 31 August will be awarded a trip for four to the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding! I urge everyone to come to Ocean Park, 'lend us a handprint' and support the staff and animals of the Sichuan panda reserves!"

For any single donation of $500 and above, Ocean Park will arrange for a momento to be made at the Image Gallery at the Cable Car Plaza at the Lowland for a photo or commemorative key ring with the guest superimposed on a panda photo template.

Ms. Judy Chen, Foundation Chair of Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong also attended the birthday party. Ms. Chen said, "After the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, Ocean Park and their staff have donated HK$ 1 million to the Hong Kong Red Cross China Relief Fund for immediate support, whilst Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong also materialized RMB 1 million for emergency equipment for the affected panda reserves. At the end of August, the Foundation will allocate HK$1.38 million, raised through the sale of "Giant Panda Special Stamps" and "Giant Panda Paw Print" by Hong Kong Post, will go towards the reconstruction of 12 of the severely damaged panda reserves in Sichuan. We all share the same birthday wish as the pandas: that their homes and watchers recover as soon as possible."

Dr. Zeman added, "It's heart-wrenching to hear the reports about the plight of the people working in the reserves and that more than 1,000 pandas have been affected by the earthquake. As the entrusted care givers to four giant pandas, Ocean Park obviously cares deeply and we would like to ask everyone who had been touched by An An, Jia Jia, Ying Ying, and Le Le, to please lend a hand and donate generously. This is the best gift I can think of for the pandas."

At the birthday party, Dr. Zeman and Ms. Chen happily joined the Hong Kong Treble Choir's Association for a birthday song and the cake cutting ceremony as they sent their best wishes to Ying Ying, Le Le, and all the giant pandas at Sichuan. To top the joyous day off, a custom "ice birthday cake", a collaborative effort between Nestle Hong Kong Limited and the Ocean Park's panda keepers and made up of all the pandas' favorite foods like apples, carrots and bamboo shoots and leaves frozen in a block of ice, was given to Ying Ying and Le Le. An An and Jia Jia also joined the celebration by having a slice of the delicious birthday treats.

Ocean Park also celebrated the birth of Jia Jia's twin grandchildren, who recently turned one month old, and prepared some traditional red eggs, the symbol of happiness and renewed life, for the party revelers.

–End–

* Ying Ying and Le Le were born on August 16 and August 8, 2005, respectively.

** For donors to be eligible for the Sichuan trip contest, donations need to be made between 12 August 2008 and 31 August 2008.

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 organisation, Ocean Park has developed itself to be a world-class attraction connecting people with nature, and recognised 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 offering 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.