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Saturday, March 1, 2014

loaned Pandas in transit from China to Belgium....

For the animal lovers – here is an interesting post on China's favourite pandas being loaned to Belgium for 15 years and  arrive to a VIP welcome at Brussels airport.  Before that in Dec 2011, Yang Guang and Tian Tian were in news…. they had moved out from their Chinese home to Scotland….. Yang  Guang also called sunshine was a male; Tian (sweetie) was his partner….  ~ the recipient was the Zoo at Edinburg and those referred to were  “Giant Panda” – a mammal known for its insatiable appetite for bamboo. A typical animal eats half the day—a full 12 out of every 24 hours—and relieves itself dozens of times a day. The giant panda, or panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, literally meaning "black and white cat-foot") is a bear native to central-western and south western China. It is easily recognized by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, over the ears, and across its round body.   The giant panda lives in a few mountain ranges in central China, mainly in Sichuan province, but also in the Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.  It is stated that less than 250  of them live  in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country.  Read my earlier post at http://www.sampspeak.in/2011/12/viewing-yang-guang-and-tian-tian-at.html

The ones now in news are 4 year olds - Hao Hao and Xing Hui who were met on the runway by Belgium PM….. they are the two giant pandas on loan from China for the next 15 years and they  received a red carpet welcome in Belgium where they were greeted by Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. Hao Hao, a four-year-old female whose name means 'Friendly', and Xing Hui ('Shining Star'), a male of the same age, landed around midday yesterday at Brussels airport after their journey in a pagoda-style cage onboard a cargo plane.
Hao hao panda

Their plane, arriving after a 15-hour flight from Sichuan in southwest China, taxied into place through an arc of water from the hoses of Belgian firefighters. The pandas, each weighing over 110 kilos (242lbs), emerged to find around 100 journalists and dozens of children from a nearby school waiting to welcome them. The new arrivals were then whisked under police escort to the Pairi Daiza zoo in the town of Brugellette, 60 kilometres (37 miles) outside Brussels. Entry tickets to the zoo were entirely sold out on Sunday, even though zookeepers had warned that Hao Hao and Xing Hui will not be making any public appearances until they have acclimatised and finished a period in quarantine, due to end on April 5.
the special cage for carriage

The zoo has spent some 10 million euros (£8million) to prepare a vast enclosure for its new stars in its 'China Garden', comprising a pool, cave and bamboo plantation. 'They have flown over a thousand mountains and a thousand rivers to arrive in Belgium,' said China's ambassador to Belgium, Liao Liqiang. The Belgian press has also reported that one million euros per year is being paid as 'rent' for the pandas, which have been a valuable tool for soft diplomacy and revenue collection for China over the years. The bears have their own Twitter feed and Hao Hao was named China's favourite panda at the international Giant Panda Zoo Awards last year.
being loaded on to aircrat

It is not without politics there too as their arrival is reported to have  inflamed old tensions between Belgium's Walloon (French-speaking) and Flemish populations. French-speaking Mr Di Rupo has been accused by Flemish politicians of snubbing the country's oldest and most famous zoo, in Antwerp, when he helped to secure the pandas' visit to Belgium.  Instead the pandas are to stay in the Pairi Daiza animal park near the city of Mons, where the mayor is none other than Mr Di Rupo.  The 170-year-old Antwerp zoo insists its pedigree and prestige should have made it the first choice.
transportation by road..

Giant pandas are an endangered species, with only 1,600 left in the wild in China and 300 in captivity around the world.  Here are some photos of the animals, especially the way they were transported ~ animals and more importantly they way of transportation are more interesting for any Marine Insurer !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Feb 2014

Photos and news courtesy : www.dailymail.co.uk/

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